Pakistan hosts world’s second largest group of out-of-school children. American Refugee Committee (ARC-Pak) and the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training (MoFEPT) with other stakeholders have launched a country wide program with the collaboration of Education Above All (EAA) Foundation, Qatar, to enrol one million Out-Of-School Children (OOSC) under the ‘Educate a Child (EAC)’ program to improve education outcomes in Pakistan.
The program is in accordance with the priorities defined in the National Action Plan, Article 25 of the constitution and SDG target 4 to address various challenges of education sector in Pakistan. ARC-Pak believes that enrolling one million (OOSC) in Pakistan is a daunting task, and can only be achieved through a collaborative effort of public – private partnership to reduce the burden on the government of Pakistan.
According to the MOU 150,000 out-of-school children will be enrolled in Directorate of Basic Education Community Schools (BECS) also ARC-Pakistan will support BECS in building capacity of BECS managers, school teachers and School Management Committee (SMC).ARC has been able to forge strong partnerships with the Government of Pakistan through the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training and its functionaries i.e. National Commission for Human Development and Basic Education Community Schools.
ARC has also developed close relationships with the provincial departments, various regional education foundations and other line departments’ i.e. social welfare and child labour. In order to further the cause of strengthening education systems, ARC has also forged partnerships with various donors and civil society organisations. ARC believes that a program of such magnitude will make a considerable difference in a country that hosts world’s second largest group of OOSC.
Country Representative, ARC (Pak), Dr. Tariq Cheema, on the occasion said that, ‘ARC-Pakistan is focused on innovation, high-quality delivery and geographic diversification; ARC is bringing new values to the people of Pakistan. Today ARC stands amongst the leading partners of government of Pakistan that are contributing to education, health and socio-economic empowerment through social innovation.
The project of bringing million kids to school with the collaboration of Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, Education Above All-Qatar and other partners shows collaborative approach adopted by the ARC-Pak to bring the revolutionary change in the realm of education in Pakistan’. Director General, Directorate of BECS, Mr. Muhammad Abbas Khan, Program Head ARC-Pak Dr. Arsalan Malik and National Program Manager ARC-Pak Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah were also present during the MOU signing ceremony.