Literacy training and non-formal learning can be two different types of activities although with a large overlap. Non-formal learning can take the form of literacy training but it also includes a variety of other types of lear ning activities such as on the job skill training and traditional apprenticeships. In Pakistan’s context, literacy programmes generally consider adults and young people who are out of school. The non-formal learning includes these categories but also other on the job learning that youths and adults might participate in, which may not have raising literacy as its objective. 100. There are multiple causes of low literacy: social taboos, poverty, child labour, and illiteracy of the parents/families and institutiona l weaknesses. Efforts to combat illiteracy have been half hearted, disjointed and not suited to local conditions and requirements. At the provincial level, there is a lack of uniformity in existi ng structures, and the set up varies from province to province. 101. There is also a question of what priority lite racy promotion should be given in the public budget when resources are not available for basic facilities in the primary schools, although the private sector can contribute resources in this fiel d of learning. The case for improving literacy is based on both its economic and social benefits, quite apart from the large benefit that accrues to the individual in the form of personal development. 102. In the economic field, literacy scores contribute to higher productivity, a contribution that is in addition to the contribution made by years of schooling 14 . A more literate person has higher participation rates in the labour force, is more likely to be an entrepreneur, and is more open to adopting new techniques of production. A literate parent contributes to better leaning achievement for his or her children. 103. There are, as well, wider social benefits of literacy that have been estimated empirically. There is a noticeable impact on health. A literate person is more likely to have better health and incur less expenditures costs on health mainte nance. Participation in civic activities and 14 Equity, Quality and Economic Growth, The World Bank, 2007. 39 democratic processes are more likely with liter acy than without. The most important social objective served by literacy is achieving greater social inclusiveness. 104. There are four main difficulties with cu rrent literacy and non-formal learning programme, which needs to be addressed. First, the quality of such programmes is variable as they are not regulated by some minimum quality standards. One reason for the often poor quality of the programmes is low quality of teachers, whic h is also not regulated. Second, a certification and accreditation regime is missing. There are no be nchmarks or standards that can be used for assessing literacy programmes. As a consequence, it is difficult to link the certificate offered by these programmes to formal learning opportunities. Hence, graduates of these programmes find it difficult to enter into the formal sector. Thir d, current literacy programmes are also not well- linked to employment opportunities. Fourth, liter acy programmes are often found to be effective if there is a follow-up programme of reinfo rcement, which are lacking at present. Policy Actions: 1. Literacy rate shall be increased up to 86% by 2015 through up-scaling of ongoing programmes of adult literacy and non fo rmal basic education in the country. 2. Sustainability of adult literacy and NFE programmes shall be ensured by strengthening organizational structure, coordination and e nhancing budgetary allocation for this neglected sub sector. 3. Government shall develop a national literacy curriculum and identify the instructional material, teacher training modules and professional development programmes to support the curriculum. The curriculum shall be objective driven, so as to facilitate assimilation of trainees into mainstream economic activity, by imparting skill training as per local needs and market trends. 4. Government shall develop and enfo rce minimum quality standards for organizations involved in literacy in the form of literacy certification and accreditation regime. The literacy providers shall be required to offer the literacy programmes according to the specified standards. 5. A system shall be developed to mainstre am the students in non-formal programmes into regular education system, and a system of equivalence shall be developed to permit such mainstreaming. New literates shall receive formal certification so as to facilitate their entry into government schools. 6. Provinces and district governments shall allocate a minimum of 3% of education budget for literacy and non formal basic education (NFBE). 7. Linkages of non-formal education with industry and internship programmes shall be developed to enhance economic benefits of participation. 8. Horizontal linkages between schools and vo cational/skills training centres shall be established. 9. Government schools shall initiate Non-Form al Education (NFE) stream for child labourers. Children involved in various jobs or work shall be brought within the ambit of non-formal education system with need-based schedules and timings. 40 10. NEF programmes, currently in practice up to grade 5 shall be expanded up to grade 10, where required. 11. Special literacy skills programmes shall targ et older child labourers, boys and girls (14 to 17 years). Special educational stip ends shall be introduced to rehabilitate child labourers. 12. Arrangements shall be made to use school buildings (where available) for adult literacy after school hours. 13. Government shall develop guidelines fo r post-programme initiatives. Regular follow-up shall be made a part of the literacy programs. 14. Steps shall be taken to ensure that t eachers for adult learners and non-formal education are properly trai ned and have a well defined career structure allowing them to move into mainstream education. 15. International Development Partners, comm unity and private sector involvement in awareness programmes, content, design an d availability of facilities, shall be mobilised. 5. EDUCATION IN EMERGENCIES 105. Pakistan has endured serious emergent situ ations in recent years causing collateral damage at a large scale. The schools have b een the worst victim because of the school infrastructure not constructed to bear the tremendous shock of earthquake and the school administration as well as the students was not prepar ed to meet such kind of challenges. Although there were some provisions in th e school curriculum and learning materials to address crisis and disaster management related issues but due to non-availability of a proper mechanism the concepts could not be enforced appropriately. Pakistan’s education system has now recognised the need for preparation of individuals and groups to grapple with the demands of emergencies through organized and effective responses. Credib le rehabilitation and disaster management plans need to be put in place to ensure early restoration of education service. Policy Actions 1. Awareness shall be raised amongst the st udents regarding emergency situations, natural disasters and school safety so as to enable them to take appropriate preventive measures and informed deci sions in emergencies or crisis. 2. Curriculum, especially of Social Studies, Geography, Languages, and Literacy shall include themes on emergencies, natural disasters and trauma management based on latest international best pr actices shall include information about response in an emergency or disaster. 3. Teacher education and training curricula shall include provisions to enable the teacher to address education in emergencies. 4. A repository of all emergency related ma terials, manuals, guidelines, minimum standards and research pertaining to educa tion shall be maintained at the teachers training institutions, schools, colleges and universities. 41 5. National Disaster Management Authority shall provide guidelines and code of conduct to the building departments to construct school infrastructure according to the international standards. 6. The authorities in planning (at Federal Ministry of Education, Planning Commission and Provincial Planning & Development Departments) shall examine that guidelines & code of conduct for construction of school infrastructure regarding disaster have been followed while recommending the education projects for approval. 7. National Disaster Management Authority shall make available the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the edu cational institutions to follow pre and post emergency situations. 8. Disaster Management Plans shall include education delivery mechanism for rehabilitation.