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Chairperson’s Message
It is a great pleasure for me to join NCHD family as Chairperson. I would like to thank the President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Honorable Asif Ali Zardari, and the Prime Minister, Honorable Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, for providing me this opportunity to serve the country. This shows the support that the government attaches to the social sector development in Pakistan.

I must appreciate the hard work put in by each and every staff member for the betterment of common people from the platform of NCHD. I am aware of the difficulties they have faced in the transition period that this organization went through. But their courage and steadfastness with which they have faced these challenges will always be remembered.

I also acknowledge the efforts of Mrs. Faryal Talpur, MNA, and Chairperson of the Special Committee on the NCHD and thank her for her services and support to this organization.

Literacy is a key instrument to social, economic and political change of any society. It leads to eradication of poverty, enhancement in quality employment, and democratic participation. In the past however, literacy has not received the political commitment that it should be and its concerning to note that Pakistan lags far behind its Education For All targets.
The school enrollment ratio, high drop-out rate and poor standards ensure that there are a large number of adults around who need to be taught literacy skills. It is time that teaching adults is included in our Education For All policy. Teaching adults would help in expanding school enrollment as parents who are literate want their children to be educated.

In this regard, it is important to point out that Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto stressed the need for literacy for engaging the young and unemployed people, empowering the people and strengthening democracy. Her commitment towards literacy can be seen by the Pakistan People’s Party’s pledge to the people to set up a literacy corp in the service of the nation.

It is also encouraging that the honorable Prime Minister has declared Year 2010 as “The Year of Literacy” and the NCHD, in its capacity as the lead agency for literacy, has been tasked to accelerate the current pace. As a result, the Commission has geared up all its resources and with the active support of all the donors, stake-holders and partners, has devised a national strategy, which envisages opening of over one lac community based literacy centres across the country during the next three years.
I would like to request the federal and the provincial ministries to support NCHD for the provision of basic education opportunities to the millions of out of school children and young illiterates in their areas. I also appeal to the international community, particularly UN agencies, donors, and the corporate sector to maximize their assistance for literacy and basic education initiatives for the down trodden segments of population in Pakistan

Nafisa Shah, MNA
Chairperson NCHD