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Pakistan plans 'Malala schools' for poor children

13 November, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan plans to honour Malala Yousufzai by opening special schools in her name for poor children, officials said on Monday.

The "Malala Schools" are planned for 16 areas around the country affected by conflict or natural disasters, Nafisa Shah, chairwoman of the National Commission for Human Development, told AFP.

The aim is to give children in these areas, who often have little in the way of educational opportunities, a chance to go to school, Shah said, but added that money for the scheme had not yet been found.

"We have identified the places and (will) soon launch a fundraising scheme to generate finances for these schools," Shah said.

Each school will have two classrooms, a verandah, a toilet and space to extend the building if needed. It will cost 800,000 rupees ($8,220) and provide basic education to both girls and boys.

The Pakistani government has announced a plan to pay poor families to send their children to school and UN education envoy Gordon Brown held talks in Islamabad at the weekend to begin a plan to bring more than five million out-of-school youngsters into the classroom.

Taliban hitmen shot Malala on her school bus a month ago in Mingora in Swat Valley in a cold-blooded murder attempt for the "crime" of campaigning for girls' rights to go to school.

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