Pak home to over 50 million illiterate people: UNESCO

Over 41 per cent people have never attended school in Pakistan.

Last Updated: Apr 15, 2011, 15:23 PM IST

Islamabad: Over 55 million people in Pakistan are illiterate, according to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

UNESCO’s National Programme Specialist (Education), Arshad Khan, made this revelation during a conference on “Media Forum for Literacy and Education”.

“The number of uneducated people in Pakistan has mounted to over 55 million and counting,” The News quoted Arshad, as saying.

Over 41 per cent people have never attended school in Pakistan, and over two-third of the female population has no idea about education, he added.

Arshad said the education-related targets of the Millennium Development Goals seem difficult to be achieved by 2015, given the incompetence and non-seriousness of the prevailing government.

UNESCO’s Representative for Pakistan Kozue Kay Nagata said that Pakistan needs to concentrate on education and human capital if it really wishes for economic growth.

“Take examples of all the fast growing economies of various countries like South Korea, Japan, China and others who concentrate on education and literacy for improving their economies,” Online News quoted Nagata, as saying at the forum.

It was also pointed out during the conference that the lowest literacy rate in Pakistan was recorded in Balochistan- 45 per cent- while the literacy rate in Punjab and Sindh was 59 per cent and 50 per cent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.