WB approves 400-mn-dollar aid to improve Pakistan’s chronically ill education systemMarch 25th, 2011 - 5:44 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Mar 25(ANI): The World Bank has approved a 400-million-dollar assistance package to help the Pakistan Government improve the access, quality and relevance of education in the nuclear-armed country.
The projects are designed to improve conditions for teaching, learning and research for enhanced access, quality and relevance at the tertiary level across Pakistan while continuing to increase enrolment rates and reduce gender and rural-urban disparities in primary education in Punjab and Sindh provinces.
“Pakistan’s transition to a middle-income country in the global knowledge economy of the 21st century will depend critically on the country’s intellectual and human capital,”saidRachid Benmessaoud, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan.
“To achieve this objective, Pakistan needs to upscale its entire education system so it can produce skilled, innovative and enterprising graduates, as well as research and innovation capacity, capable of promoting dynamic economic development,”Benmessaoud added.
The assistance comes at a time when Pakistan is facing what the March for Education campaign termed as “an education emergency”, which costs the economic equivalent of its flood disaster every year and poses a “challenge of global dimensions”.
The campaign, launched with the British government’s backing, deployed stark statistics to draw a picture of a chronically ill education system in Pakistan.
One in ten of the out-of-school children in the world live in Pakistan, a nuclear-armed state that spent just two per cent of its Gross Domestic product (GDP) on education last year.
The number of children absent from primary schools- seven million- is roughly equivalent to the population of Pakistan’s second largest city of Lahore.
According to the campaign, half of the Pakistani population is illiterate and the progress so slow that at the present rate, the government will not be able to deliver universal education in Balochistan, the largest province, until 2100. (ANI)
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Tags: assistance package, british government, disparities, education campaign, education system, flood disaster, gdp, global dimensions, global knowledge economy, gross domestic product, lahore, pakistan government, population of pakistan, primary education, punjab, relevance of education, sindh, tertiary level, world bank, world bank country director