Bilawal Bhutto Zardari highlights education challenges and commitment on world literacy day

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Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), has emphasized the significant challenges facing Pakistan’s education sector, with over three million children currently out of school in the country. In a statement issued by the Media Cell Bilawal House, he expressed concern over this situation and stressed the need for collective action to address it, stating, “These figures should remind us that we still have a long way to go to catch up with the world in terms of literacy rate.”

Chairman Bilawal underlined the importance of a people’s government in tackling such challenges and affirmed that the literacy rate is a crucial criterion for sustainable development. He noted that factors like inflation, unemployment, poverty, and climate change-induced natural disasters have severely impacted the education sector in recent times.

Highlighting the impact of last year’s record rains, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari revealed that 50 percent of school buildings in Sindh were severely affected by devastating floods. He pointed out that education has consistently been a top priority for the PPP, with educational reforms dating back to the era of the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. These reforms included measures to increase literacy rates, provide free education up to matriculation, and establish numerous schools and universities. The creation of Allama Iqbal Open University during Mr. Bhutto’s tenure was also noted as a significant achievement.

Bilawal recalled the efforts made by late Benazir Bhutto’s governments, despite their relatively short durations, to increase the education budget and establish higher educational institutions. He praised the initiatives taken by the federal government, led by former President Asif Ali Zardari from 2008 to 2013, and the People’s government in Sindh to raise literacy rates.

In his vision for the future, Bilawal Bhutto reiterated the importance of achieving a 100 percent literacy rate for a robust democracy and sustainable development. He expressed his determination that, following a victory in the next general elections, the PPP would allocate 3 percent of the GDP ratio to the education budget. The goal is to provide world-class education to all Pakistani children, similar to the free healthcare facilities available through institutions like the Sindh NICVD, Gambit Institute, SIUT, and Jinnah Hospital.

Hanif Samoon is a senior journalist based at Thar/Badin and contributes reports from different districts of Sindh to Minute Mirror. He has won a number of awards, including the Agahi Award twice for his stories on health and child rights. He tweets @HanifSamoon1 and can be reached through email at