The International Literacy Day is being observed today. On this occasion, I want to address the architects of the nation, the children, who are our future. Our hopes are centered on the promising sparkle in their eyes, their happiness and accomplishments. Being Prime Minister, it is my foremost obligation to afford them all possible facilities to excel in life. Every Pakistani child has the inherent right to receive quality education and acquire best creative capabilities. We cannot think of a bright future without achieving hundred percent literacy. Presently, only 56 percent of the population is literate. According to some estimates, 25 million children between the ages of five to sixteen years are not enrolled in schools. This situation is intolerable. A nation that lags behind in the field of education can never prosper. Therefore, development of education is our top priority.
Accordingly, the government has launched a three-day drive to enroll children into schools from Karachi to Peshawar. During this drive, all the children of school going age who are out of schools will be traced and enrolled into schools. I am grateful to all the provincial governments, AJK and FATA who are actively participating in this drive.
I appeal to all Pakistanis to reach out to such children who are deprived of education and extend all possible help to enroll them into schools. Many years ago we resolved to become an atomic power and we made it. Now we have to pledge that we shall achieve excellence in education and become an economic power. We can achieve these objectives by working in unison. We will not rest till we educate every child and attain hundred per cent literacy. We are confident that we will enroll 500,000 children into schools with your help and support. This drive shall not end here as we have to continue our efforts till every child in our country has received education.
I assure you that the government will play its due role in eradicating illiteracy from Pakistan.