On Saturday, the United Kingdom announced a £130 million bilateral programme to support girls’ education in Pakistan, which will benefit nearly 17 million children.
The Prime Minister’s Girls’ Education Action Plan, unveiled in May, lays out concrete steps to achieve the UK’s global goals for girls’ education. The programme, titled Girls and Out of School: Action for Learning (GOAL), will support the governments of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) in improving outcomes for girls and the marginalized.
GOAL aims to enroll and retain approximately 250,000 marginalized children in underdeveloped regions, as well as to assist 150,000 girls in reading by the age of 10.
The initiative aims to improve learning outcomes for at least 7.8 million girls by strengthening provincial education systems in order to improve educational quality and equity.
In addition, the programme will directly support children’s access to education and learning in several Commonwealth countries, as well as implement changes to make education more inclusive.
“No nation can reach its full potential without 50% of its population. Getting girls into school is a key driver of growth. We want to give girls awaaz and marzi [voice and choice] and unleash the potential of the next generation,” said UK High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr Christian Turner.
Pakistan houses 9.2% of the 138 million girls out of school, with the poorest rural regions most affected by low enrollment and high drop-out rates.