Brown optimistic for Pakistan in achieving educational targets
11 November, 2012
ISLAMABAD: United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown on Saturday said Pakistan could achieve more progress during next three years than any other country as the whole nation has consensus for promoting education as basic right of every child.
"This is a breakthrough moment for Pakistan's five million out-of-school children as result of Malala's courage," Brown said addressing a news conference after his two-day visit to Pakistan that also coincided with Malala Day observed worldwide. He believed that the silent majority is speaking and that there is now national consensus that the country can delay no longer in ensuring girls and boys have schools to go and teachers to teach them."
"Country after country is adopting Malala as their symbol for a girls' right to school," Brown commented. Brown who also telephoned Malala's two friends Kainat and Shazia, both injured in attack, said not only in Asia but Malala Day was being observed from Latin America and Europe to Africa and several cities in the United States. "Today, we can say with certainty that as long as there are girls out of school anywhere in the world, Malala will be their beacon of hope. Visiting Pakistan and everywhere I go, the message I have received is the same: we are all with Malala," Brown said.
Brown also praised Pakistan's creation of four new Malala schools, a Malala Centre for women's studies and a Malala postgraduate institute. He also expressed pleasure over the plan to provide financial support to poor families for sending their children to schools.
Mentioning to his telephonic interaction with Malala's friends, he said both were courageous young women and wanted to become doctors. During his meetings with ministers of education from every province, he said everyone expressed their commitment to delivering educational opportunities for girls and boys.
Particularly, he said all of them have emphasised that they would work ceaselessly to ensure that three million girls who are denied schooling are no longer discriminated against anywhere in the country," he said.
Brown also quoted that education minister is committed to expand community schools including 900 in the Swat Valley and FATA that provide route into the schooling for children who have never gone to school.
He also referred to a plan launched by Benazir Income Support Programme to expand a conditional cash transfer to families choosing to send their children to school what he said aims to enrol three million children into school over the next four years.
"So action is already underway this week to move further and faster to meeting the Millennium Development Goal for education," he commented, adding that one million people have now signed worldwide petitions.