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imageISLAMABAD: A nationwide survey to examine the status of education in Pakistan has been launched that would also gauge the learning levels of children aged 5 to 16 years.

The Annual Status of Education Report 2013 was launched in the closing ceremony of a three-day workshop arranged by Idara-e-Taleem- o-Aagahi.

The number of districts covered in this nationwide survey increases every year. ASER survey 2013 will target 145 rural and 10 urban districts in total which will include 87,000 households and almost 2.5 lack children.

The main objective of this workshop was to train master trainers from the sub-offices of the organization in Balochistan, KPK, Punjab, Sindh and Islamabad, who will be then responsible for the provincial and district training in their respective provinces.

Survey in the Kissana village (Attock) was also conducted as a pilot test to make the master trainers familiar with the upcoming challenges that they are going to face in the implementation mode of the survey.

Ahmed Buksh Lehri, the chief guest, Fahad Hussain (Ambassador ASER/RTE) and Musharraf Zaidi, Director Alif Ailaan were among the participants in the closing ceremony.

Nargis Sultana from FOSI and Iqbal from NCHD highlighted the importance of ASER in the context of Pakistan and suggested on how to make it more useful by making comparisons with the previous results.

Musharaf Zaidi from Alif Ailaan also shed light on ASER for the improvement of educational standards in the country.

He also highlighted that ASER survey has been used by many researchers and research organizations like the use of ASER survey in the recent exercise of Alif Ailaan district rankings.

He hoped that the country will be able to achieve 100 percent literacy rate if they move constantly in this right direction.

Ahmed Buksh Lehri elaborated the role of government in education and the future goals of the government regarding education. He said the nation will be in disparity if they can not achieve the targeted goals even after increasing the volume of education budget.

He said that they need not to focus only on the quantity but on quality of education simultaneously and mentioned the increase in budget for education by government as a positive initiative.

However, he stressed that the role of parents is equally important to achieve the targeted goals especially to retain the children at schools and to minimize the dropout rate.

He promised to the nation that government will work to achieve these goals with zeal and zest.

DFID representative Atif said through ASER, he realized that the people of Pakistan do not just criticize the government's role but also work themselves to improve the conditions through citizen led initiative. He said the country is moving from diagnosis towards the action stage.

Fahad Hussain, ASER Ambassador stressed on the role that media can affectively play for improving educational standards in the country.

He said media personnels need to take the ownership of this field and highlighted his contributions towards education in general and ASER in particular especially in the introduction of article 25 A of the constitution.

After the implementation, plan for each province will initiate from the second week of September. Partner organizations in each of the province will be key contributors for the whole process starting with provincial training workshops and concluding with the launch of ASER Pakistan Report 2013 in January.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2013

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