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In Pakistan, the Constitutional guarantee for free and compulsory education to all children between ages five and 16 years has increased administrative and financial challenges for all provinces.


In order to achieve 100 per cent literacy rate, the provincial governments are heavily focusing on reforms in education governance and service delivery. Despite recent gains in improving access to formal education, Pakistan still faces significant challenges in terms of adult literacy. A large population has no access to formal education, printed knowledge and new skills. The challenge is more acute especially in the rural areas, where inequitable access to education facilities poses a critical task to be scaled. The recent reform initiatives and on-going drives by the national and provincial governments have contributed towards enhanced enrollment and retention in schools, however, a large section of the population especially young women, above 16 years of age, who dropped out or never attended schools are more likely to stay illiterate. Out of the illiterate population, female are more disadvantaged than boys. The cultural and structural barriers have placed girls and women in an unfavorable position. The issue of access is compounded in case of females, as the cultural beliefs and practices tend to discriminate against girls thus decreasing the likelihood of attending a formal school, thus contributing towards a higher number of girls/female illiterates. The same is substantiated by the existing status of adult literacy in Pakistan, where the proportion of adult female literates is conspicuously lower than the male (71% male and 48% female).


Considering the situation, one could hardly over-emphasize the significance of adult literacy initiatives to achieve 100 per cent literacy rate especially for women. Data from national surveys clearly show that literacy impacts on human capabilities, enhances productivity, broadens earning opportunities and improves personal well-being. Various initiatives around the world and in Pakistan demonstarte that use of information technology and latest handheld devices helps improve literacy skills among audlts. We understand that the use of technology is one of the most powerful alternative to printed materials to ensure sustained achievment of basic literacy and numeracy skills.


I-SAPS’ Literacy program is guided by the vision of optimising public sector initiatives by providing innovative policy choices to address the challenge of adult literacy based on use of Information and communication technology (ICT). ICT offers powerful tools to change and foster new economic opportunities for women. In the context of addressing the question of access to education, and Adult literacy, ICT (range of communication systems, devices, applications and services including but not limited to computers, mobile phones and internet) offers cost effective and culturally sensitive solutions.

Contact for more information

Tel: +92-51-111-739-739
Fax: +92-51-2825336