Education has been recognized as a fundamental human right by almost every religion. Islam calls it a sacred duty of every Muslim man and woman to seek knowledge. Even the first revelation of the Quran was also the word “Iqra” which means to read, seek knowledge, or be educated. Other religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Christianity also consider education essential for attaining their goals of enlightenment.
The current literacy rate of Pakistan is around 60 % but, if closely analyzed, the threshold for being literate is set so low that anyone who could write his name is, considered to be, literate. However, literacy is not defined as an ability to scribble down your initials on a piece of paper; literacy is the ability imparted to an individual by knowledge to make informed decisions, to understand life better, to communicate, to excel, to reach their potential.
If we want to succeed as a nation, as Muslims we ought to be educated. Although Pakistan has made tremendous progress in terms of education, technology, and seemingly many other walks of life, but unfortunately during this ordeal of almost seven and a half decades the gap between rural and urban lifestyles has not been minimized.
Unfortunately, education is still an inaccessible right to approximately 44% of the children aged between 4-16 years. This issue of the educational crisis in Pakistan is worsened by the young population living in the rural area, underprivileged communities, slums, and war-affected tribal areas. The children in these marginalized communities are not being cared for the way they deserve. Lack of basic facilities of life in these communities pushes innocent children into a vicious cycle of child labor and drags them away from education. There is no concept of education among the members of society let alone the resources and infrastructure for learning.
Despite so many Governmental and Non-governmental programs in place, the situation of children belonging to the poverty-stricken underprivileged localities has not changed. This can mean either of two things, one the demand is huge or not enough effort is being put towards the achievement of Education for all goals.
So, to mitigate this gap of education according to social status, the like-minded patriots should forward with the vision to bring a thorough transformation that keeps the most important yet ignored individuals of the society i.e., children at its core. We have to design a model that applies to these diverse age groups of children in these communities.
Only with a strong foundation laid by education, we can expect to see an economically sound country. The ICT integrated learning model involves community members and technology to provide STEM-based education to all the children in these communities without any discrimination of religious or social status.
Children in this program are provided with up to date educational knowledge via modern pedagogical techniques. ICT teaching platform provides children with the opportunity to access technology. The only thing that matters to us is that somewhere in a slum, is a child who is being engulfed by the darkness of illiteracy. It does not matter which caste, color, creed, or religion the child belongs to.
Education is the key, to where we want to be in the future as Pakistanis, as Muslims and as responsible human beings.