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346.PEDP II is being implemented in all the 64 districts covering more than 65,000 primary schools for approximately 19 million children aged between 6-10 years. Eleven donors and development partners are supporting the project.

347.During 2005 a new initiative was undertaken to introduce Life Skills-based Education (LSBE) in secondary schools. UNICEF is working jointly with the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) and the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (DSHE). Curriculum and formal and non-formal materials have been developed, and workshops and training conducted on LSBE. A working group has been formed and trained to take the work forward in the next country programme.

348.In recent years there has been a thorough revision of the primary curriculum and new textbooks have been developed. As part of this exercise, gender biases have been removed and concepts of environmental awareness and sustainable development introduced.

349.The State Party has initiated the decentralization of primary and secondary education management structure. Uni-track curriculum in secondary level has been introduced since 2006. Privatization of text book production and publication has started for secondary level (grade 6-10) and by 2007 all books under secondary level will be privatized.

350.Reorganization of National Curriculum and Tex Book Board, establishing two units (Curriculum and Text book), has been started with the objective to deliver quality output by each unit. On important function of the Curriculum Unit would be development and modernization of Secondary, Technical and Madrasah Curricula. A separate entity named Independent Textbook Evaluation (ITEC) has been established. Computers are being distributed to schools and Madrasahs, with provision of training to teachers for computer application. Other activities for improvement of overall education quality include: strengthening monitoring and overseeing, reorganizing Management Committees/Governing bodies of educational schools, reforming existing examination system, delivery of text book to the student in time, strengthening teachers training etc.

D.  Rest, leisure, recreation and cultural and artistic activities

351.The State is responsible for ensuring the right of citizens to reasonable rest, recreation and leisure. Constitutional obligation of the State is to adopt measures to “conserve the cultural traditions and heritage of the people” and to “foster and improve the national language, literature and the arts” so as to give all sections of the population an opportunity to contribute towards and participate in the enrichment of the national culture.

352.Because of the available space and general environment, children in rural areas have more scope for play and recreation than those living in urban areas. In terms of access to recreational and cultural facilities, children from families of higher socio-economic status are in a much better position than those from disadvantaged families. This is qualified, however, by the excessive pressure on many such children to study hard to achieve academic success, which leaves them with little leisure time.

353.Working children (especially child domestics) are often deprived of opportunities for leisure, recreation and even rest because of their long working hours and irregular holidays. One

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