Press Release – Paris, 1 March 2018 – Education Above All Foundation’s programme, Educate A Child (EAC), is pleased to announce a three-year initiative with the American Refugee Committee (ARC) today to provide quality primary education to 1,050,000 marginalised Out Of School Children (OOSC) in Pakistan. The country has one of the highest populations of OOSC in the world estimated at 5.6 million at the primary level .
Poverty, conflict, gender discrimination, lack of parental awareness of the value of education, and natural disasters complicate Pakistan’s development efforts and serve as formidable barriers to education for the country’s most vulnerable children.
At present, Pakistan is at risk of failing to meet Sustainable Development Goal 4 that seeks to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030. Over the course of three years, EAC and ARC intend to reach and enrol children into quality primary education in the districts of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit Baltisan, Baluchistan and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
Dr. Mary Joy Pigozzi, Executive Director, Educate A Child said:
“The Educate A Child programme welcomes our new partnership with the American Refugee Committee, which aims to provide opportunities to over one million out of school children in Pakistan. While the country’s education reformers are working to address the challenge of out of school children in Pakistan, there is still a lot to be done. Through EAC and ARC’s collaboration and focussing on scale and sustainability, we aim to empower these vulnerable children and give them the chance to improve their life prospects.
“This announcement builds on our existing work in Pakistan, where we are working in partnership with, UNHCR, the British Council, UNESCO and The Citizens Foundation. Through these partnerships we already have commitments in place for 391,710 children.”
Dr. Tariq H. Cheema, Country Representative, ARC Pakistan said:
“ARC takes pride in joining hands with Education Above All Foundation (EAA) to fulfil its mission of putting every child on the learning path. ARC believes that ignoring action on education will risk threatening progress and stability, and further trap children in cycles of poverty and depravation. ARC, therefore, puts education on top of it’s program priorities in Pakistan and commits itself to become the catalyst for public, private, and philanthropic support to advance education in the country.”
EAC and ARC’s project model involves engaging directly with government departments and local communities to lead enrolment drives, mobilise parents and devise local initiatives to enrol OOSC. This will be carried out by project staff and government officials, in partnership with target communities. An additional strategy will be to concentrate on constructing new schools, as well as classrooms in existing schools; delivering quality teaching; improving the learning environments and providing incentives to students.
To realise this goal, the project aligns closely with the Government of Pakistan’s National Plan of Action 2017-2025, which emphasises enrolling OOSC in existing formal schools; through the provision of additional classroom space; and in new non-formal schools.
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