UK pledges funding for girls’ education

Islamabad : The United Kingdom (UK) on Saturday announced a bilateral programme worth up to £130 million to support girls’ education in Pakistan saying the initiative will impact around 17 million children.

According to officials, the Prime Minister’s Girls’ Education Action Plan launched in May this year sets out practical steps to deliver the UK’s global objectives on girls’ education. Titled Girls and Out of School: Action for Learning (GOAL), the programme will support the governments of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to improve outcomes for girls and the most marginalised.

The GOAL focuses on two main priorities. In Punjab and KPK’s least developed districts, it will directly support around 250,000 marginalised children to enrol and stay in school. It will also support an additional 150,000 girls to read by age 10.

The officials insisted that the GOAL would improve learning outcomes for at least 16.9 million children (7.8 million girls) by strengthening the provincial education systems to improve the quality and equity of education, particularly the quality of teaching, and becoming more resilient post-Covid. The programme will directly support children to access education and learning in several Commonwealth countries.

They also said the GOAL would introduce changes to make education more inclusive; ensuring children are taught at their correct learning level and influencing others to adopt better education practices.

UK High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr Christian Turner CMG said no nation could reach its full potential without 50 per cent of its population.

“Getting girls into school is a key driver of growth. We want to give girls awaaz (voice) and marzi (choice) and unleash the potential of the next generation,” he said.