Monday, October 11, 2004

US explores new avenues in education field with Pakistan, Nancy Powell

ISLAMABAD: The Bush administration and USAID would continue to explore new avenues in the field of educational cooperation between the two countries and expressed their satisfaction with the pace and progress the Ministry of Education had made to uplift the education in the country.

This was said by the Ambassador of the United States of America to Pakistan Nancy Powell in a meeting with Federal Education Minister, Lt. Gen (R) Javed Ashraf Qazi.

The envoy appreciated the efforts of the present government and the ministry of education for making education accessible to all particularly in the far flung areas which were neglected in the past.

The ambassador said that the country would soon achieve all the Education for All targets, as was evident by the revolutionary steps being taken by the political and administrative bosses of the ministry.

The teacher-turned-diplomat told the minister for education that US would continue its assistance to the education sector of the country as the US Congress would likely to pass a financial bill amounting to US $ 200 million for the health and education sector. She termed the current educational cooperation between US and Pakistan as a pillar of bilateral relations.

Briefing the envoy, the minister said that his emphasis would be on the implementation strategy to ensure the proper implementation of the policies of his predecessor.

He told the ambassador that he would personally monitor all the educational uplift projects in the country and would urge both the international partners and the donor agencies including USAID to continue their support and assistance for Pakistan's education sector.

He also told the ambassador that all the International donors including UNICEF JAICA, DFID, and UNESCO and USAID etc are satisfied with the spending of grants and aid given to the Ministry of Education to disburse to different sectors including FATA.

Qazi also briefed the ambassador about the projects and plans evolved by the Ministry of Education, and their implementation down to the very grass root level. He told the ambassador that the present government is putting all it's effort to uplift the basic education in the country and to introduce new concepts in the system.

He told the ambassador that the current budgetary allocation to the education sector is a record in the history of the country. No government prior to 1999 had Faid attention for the uplift of the education in the country to such an extent. The credit goes to the present democratic government to assign a priority status to the education in the country.

He also briefed the ambassador about the steps taken by the government to eliminate child labor from all over the country, and bringing the out of school children to the primary schools. He said that under the Education Sector Reforms, the primary objective of the government is to make education accessible to all in the country.

Qazi further maintained that the donor agencies have also expressed their satisfaction over the distribution of funds and their utilization and appreciated a visible change in the present education system. While briefing the envoy the minister said that Pakistan would meet the target of Education for All till 2015, which will be a big achievement.

He also briefed the ambassador about the introduction of Human Rights education in the schools and establishment of science labs in the FATA schools. The envoy showed their interest to continue the cooperation by granting scholarships and other assistance packages to Pakistan in the field of education and appreciated the performance of Pakistani teachers who went to US for training.

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Pakistan Science and Engineering Forum (R)
"Kindling the Flame of Science in Pakistan (TM)"
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