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    Pakistan Launches Landmark Out of School Children Fund to Ensure Quality Education for All Children

    Pakistan Launches Landmark Out of School Children Fund to Ensure Quality Education for All Children

    Chitral Times Report

    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Launches Landmark Out of School Children Fund to Ensure Quality Education for All Children Professor Ahsan lqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiatives launched the National Challenge Fund to Address Out of School Children (00SC) Crisis in Pakistan. Addressing the gathering, Minister Prof Ahsan lqbal underscored the paramount importance of education and hailed the Out of School Children Fund as a critical strategic step towards ensuring enrollments and reducing drop-out rates. He announced that major portion / chunk of the funds under this project will be directed towards Early Childhood Education (ECE), recognizing its crucial role as the foundation of the entire education chain. He urged Pakistan to accelerate efforts to catch up with regional countries in enhancing access to quality education, emphasizing the significance of political stabilty and continuity in policies for the country’s sustainable development.

    The launch of the Out of School Children Fund stands as a testament to the govenment’s unwavering commitment to providing every child in Pakistan with access to quality education and a bright future. By addressing the challenges of O0SC through evidence-based approaches, innovative solutions, and collaborative efforts, Pakistan takes a momentous leap towards building a stronger, more educated, and prosperous nation. He urged the provinces to match the fund and allocate Rs.25 billion from their budget. Secretary of Ministry Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, Syed Zafar Ali Shah, proudly shared that the Ministry has significantly increased education funding this year, demonstrating the government’s commitment to the cause. He assured that the Ministry is ready to extend federal government support to all provincial and Area education departments to ensure the success of this crucial initiative.

    During the event, Member (Social Sector & Devolution), Rafiullah Kakar, highlighted the critical challenge of ensuring quality education. He emphasized that enrolling O0SC in schools is not enough: the real issue lies in the retention of these children due to inadequate learning environments, addressing the supply side drivers of OOSC crisis the top most priority under this project. Mr. Kakar further highlighted that the project entails provision of performance based grants to provincial governments. This result-based financing will improve efficiency and effectiveness of public expenditure and promote innovation in fiscal federalism.

    He stressed the urgent need to improve the teaching-learning environment to create a conducive atmosphere for children’s holistic development. The Out of School Fund, amounting to a colossal commitment of 25 bilion PKR, has been earmarked as a performance-based fund for provincial education departments. These departments will develop plans with specific indicators, and funding will be allocated based on the successful achievement of those indicators. The innovative aspect of this initiative lies in the equal contribution by provinces and development partners, making the total funding available for O0SC an impressive 75 billion PKR. The event, graced by the presence of esteemed dignitaries, including representatives from development partners, civil society organizations and private sector educational institutions. The provincial education departments and stakeholders virtually joined the event.


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