May 06, 2010

Balochistan: 8.8 million Euros for Strengthening Balochistan’s Education System

Active ImageGlobal NGO Save the Children with financial assistance from the Netherlands has launched an 8.8 million Euros Balochistan Education Programme.



Below is an article published by Thaindian News:

Global NGO Save the Children with financial assistance from the Netherlands has launched an 8.8 million euros Balochistan Education Programme to provide access to quality basic education to more than 73,000 children over the next five years.

The programme will run in three districts of Balochistan - Quetta, Mastung and Qila Abdullah - and has been designed in consultation with the government and local stakeholders.

“The state of education, overall, in Pakistan is far from satisfactory. It is even more concerning in Balochistan, where the total adult literacy rate is 37 percent with the female literacy rate standing even lower at 19 percent,” said Mohammed Qazilbash, country director of Save the Children.

“The Balochistan Education Programme will be redressing the issues of access and quality, with a particular focus on girls,” he added.

Fritz Meijndert, first secretary (Education) at the Dutch embassy in Islamabad, stressed that his country was supporting the education sector in Pakistan in the belief that a well educated population is at the basis of a democratic and prosperous society, Online news agency reported.

“The importance of this particular programme is to give a boost to girls’ education, something which is particularly called for in Pakistan, he said.

“Indicators for girls’ education lag far behind the overall indicators which do not look so bright themselves,” Meijndert added.

He expressed the embassy’s hope and expectation that this programme could be at the start of a more extensive support programme to the education sector in Balochistan.

During his stay in Quetta, Meijndert took the opportunity to discuss the status of the education sector in Balochistan and possible further support from the Dutch embassy to the local authorities.

“We realise that solving the issues of access and quality alone will never bring a step change in the system. We will have to begin with improving the educational planning and budgeting systems,” Qazilbash said.

“To this effect, the programme will work in close coordination with the provincial ministry of education in developing district education planning models as well as strengthening the education management information systems,” he added.

Statistics reveal that 93 percent of the schools in Balochistan are without electricity, while 83 percent are without boundary walls. Another 74 percent schools lack water and sanitation facilities.

Only 40 percent of the girls enroll at the primary level, out of which a majority drops out before completing their primary education. Just 35 percent of the girls make it to the middle level.