Islamabad: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Balochistan Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) announced today the approval of a USD 10 million grant for promoting girl’s education in Balochistan and the additional financing of USD 2.75 million for strengthening the governance in the Province.
The Promoting Girls Education in Balochistan Project will improve access to education and retention of children in school, with a special focus on girls. The three-year project will be implemented by the Secondary Education Department, Government of Balochistan.
Through this project, the Government will build 130 girls’ schools that are at present shelter less and provide missing facilities including toilets, drinking water, boundary walls, blackboards and furniture to an additional 200 girls’ schools in the Province. Building on the Government’s experience of working with community schools, 150 new schools will be set up in locations where no schools exist. These locations will be identified through active community engagement and assessment of local teacher availability. Robust monitoring systems and government-community partnerships will also be established to ensure a functional and safe learning environment for children, especially girls.
In addition to the Promoting Girls Education in Balochistan, MDTF’s ongoing Governance Support Project (GSP) has also been extended to Balochistan. The GSP has been operational in KP and FATA since October 2011. GSP Balochistan will strengthen the capacity of the line departments to support efficient delivery of development programs and the capacity of the Implementation Support Unit in the province for implementation of governance reforms, and create structures for monitoring and evaluation and donor coordination.
Emphasizing the importance of these initiatives, Mr. Javed Iqbal, Secretary Economic Affairs Division stated, ‘The level of investment in human development is very low in Balochistan. This support will go a long way as lack of facilities in schools is an impediment to the enrollment of girls. I thank the World Bank and MDTF donors and hope that this will lead to a significant improvement in education in Balochistan; especially for girls. Governance is another area of concern and this assistance will help improve governance’.
Commenting on MDTF’s support to education and governance, Rachid Benmessaoud, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan said, ‘Access to education is not only a basic right of all children but a fundamental prerequisite to development. By working with the Education Department of Balochistan, this MDTF-funded project will help improve the lives of children, especially girls, and have a positive impact on the social and economic future of Balochistan.’