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Senate briefed: Malala Fund-In-Trust succeeds in enrolling 6,154 out-of-school girls


Business Recorder | ALI HUSSAIN 

ISLAMABAD: The Senate was informed on Friday that Framework Agreement between UNESCO and the government of Pakistan on the Malala Fund-In-Trust for Girls Right to Education has succeeded to enroll 6,154 out of school girls in targeted areas. 

Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training, Mohammad Balighur Rehman told the House during the question hour that the program has also enhanced enrolment from 16,267 to 22,421 in 304 girls’ primary schools in the targeted areas. 

Still, there are over 10,000 out of primary school girls in the Girls’ Right to Education Program targeted areas who will be enrolled by the end of the programme, which is a major challenge besides retaining the existing 22,421 girls in schools and ensuring that they learn better, he added. He said that the Malala Fund for Girls’ Right to Education was established under the MOU signed by the government of Pakistan and UNESCO Headquarters on 10 December, 2012. The government of Pakistan contributed US $10 million in the fund, he added. The Framework Agreement between UNESCO and the government of Pakistan on the Malala Fund-In-Trust for Girls Right to Education was signed on February 06, 2014. The purpose of the program is to support the government’s efforts in increasing access and improving the quality of girl’s education at primary level through capacity building and targeted interventions at both institutional and community level, he added. 

He said that the steering committee of the program approved nine projects in May 2015 for implementation in the far-flung areas of all provinces/areas. The projects are titled as Support to National Capacity Building to Realize Girls Right to Education (2015- 2018). The 9th project is the support to national capacity building to realize girls’ right to education in Pakistan on cross-cutting issues. 

To another question, the minister said that a MoU between the Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training of the government of Pakistan and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was signed on November 19, 2014. Under this agreement, both the parties agreed to work together to improve the quality of education in Pakistan through the USAID-funded Pakistan Reading Project (PRP), he added. He said that the USAID-funded Pakistan Reading Project (PRP) is supporting the provincial and regional education departments in Pakistan to improve the quality of education with a focus on improving the reading skills of children at early grade level. About the steps taken by the Ministry on MoU, he said that under the MoU, the National Education Forum was created under the chairmanship of secretary to Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training, government of Pakistan. 

The members of the national forum have also agreed to integrate policy initiatives in the public education system, he said, adding that the National Education Forum is a consultative forum which reviews the progress of PRP interventions and provides necessary advisory services to PRP program, whereas the program is being implemented by PRP in collaboration with provinces/areas education departments. 

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Sheikh Aftab Ahmad told the House that Hakla-DI Khan Road, which is part of western route of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, will be completed by May next year. 

Minister of State for Maritime Affairs Jaffar Iqbal told the House that Pakistan National Shipping Corporation comprises modernized fleet and it is in the process of purchasing two more tanker vessels to cater for the requirements of the country. 

To a question Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif informed the House that during the last four years, an amount of Rs5,405.38 million has been paid on rents by Pakistan embassies / missions in the USA and European countries during last four years for all persons including ambassadors/ high commissioners and other officers / officials of all wings. To another query, he said that there was no Pakistani prisoner in jails of Syria. 

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