ISLAMABAD: Global education foundation Education Above All (EAA) has partnered with the Asian Development Bank to enroll 960,000 out-of-school children in the country into primary education over the next four years.

The EAA project, with financial contributions from Qatar Fund for Development and implementation by the ADB, is testament to the foundation’s commitment to educate every child through strategic partnerships.

The EAA’s track record shows that the most effective way to eliminate barriers to education is to work cooperatively across sectors, the foundation said in a press release issued on Friday.

The EAA is a global foundation established in 2012 by Sheikha Moza bint Nasser of Qatar.

The new partnership is part of a concerted effort to bring the country’s most marginalised children into primary level education and comes off the back of EAA’s already remarkable track record of enrolling over 10.7 million children into education across the world.

Pakistan is facing serious education challenges, with one-third of five- to 16-year-olds (or 22.8 million children) out of school. Gender inequality, mountainous geography and poverty are counted as the country’s most significant barriers to education.

The EAA-ADB project will work within Pakistan’s existing integrated social protection programme, the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), which seeks to strengthen and expand the Pakistan social protection system by facilitating access to health services, nutrition, and social protection.

Through BISP, the joint EAA-ADB project targets the “hardest to reach” children in the country’s most marginalised families. It facilitates Pakistan’s ability to provide conditional financial support to marginalised mothers of out-of-school children who enroll their children in primary education.

The project also aims to bolster school attendance for girls through additional cash incentives for their enrolment.

Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2022

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