By Asem Mustafa Awan
ISLAMABAD – Integrated Literacy Movement celebrated the International Literacy day Friday with its achievement spanning over 25 years in a style that every Pakistani should be proud off.
Zulfiqar Noon for over 25 years has dedicated his life in teaching the children who have no chance or little chance to be in school.
It was his brain child that non formal education (home schooling) should be imparted to teach the children which are commonly referred as ‘street children’.
He first trained the teachers and then snowball affect was created and in 25 years ILM has more or less 1800 schools in its fold. Over 72000 students are registered in these schools and are studying in different levels and over 50000 students have passed their primary education.
It all happened with commitment and selflessness,” said Zulfiqar Noon adding, “the triangle with parent, teacher and student formed the key and everyone was motivated and with passage of time together we have achieved these results.”
“Our key philosophy was never to beg, our work should speak for itself and from day one we followed this principle. We were never distracted or influenced.”
ILM has 25 vocational centers at the national front. The teachers who were motivated in running home schools and wanted to do more for the suppressed community were encouraged through private donations and with the trust help to help others who needed to be guided and carry on the message to help others.
Sewing machines and tools are there to develop different set of skills in the participants added with the hope ‘yes they can achieve’.
ILM has also trained 7000 volunteers who help assist the trust in different educational activities throughout the country.
Mr Zulfiqar added, “ILM is operational in 36 districts of Punjab and we are third party in monitoring and evaluation of 15000 home schools. These home schools are funded by government and money goes directly to the teachers and not a single rupee comes to the trust. We are out of the government funding schemes as a trust, so that we should not be accused in anyway.”
It seems very impractical but dedicated team effort and combined vision of well wishers ILM achieved this.”
Zulfiqar Noon stated that it is high time now we should be striving for nation building. Our efforts are particularly aimed at girls who will be a Muslim mother in years to come and with her character, we build the nation which will symbolize the true spirit of Islam. It is only education that can eradicate intolerance and extremism in society and we should all work together to create this national harmony.
This is now time a volunteer think tank should be working in close connection with government, in helping and assisting the policy makers in nation building process which has deteriorated since long.
Nations who have invested in education have achieved new heights but sadly in case of Pakistan education have never been given the priority that it really deserved. It is now 70 years since the inception of Pakistan we hope and pray that this attitude should change and nation should be built.”
We are operational in 36 district of Punjab and we arty monitoring and evaluation of 15000 schools more or less. They are home schools and government pays money to the teachers directly and not to the trust.
We are out of this government funding so that there can be no accusations