New York (Web Desk): UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of UK Mr. Gordon Brown called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in New York today (Friday) to discuss issues pertaining to mutual cooperation for the promotion of education in Pakistan.
Gordon Brown admired Prime Minister for according priority to education in Pakistan.
Recalling his earlier visit to Islamabad and meeting with the Prime Minister, the Envoy told that his Office was ready to raise funds for a new project to increaseliteracy and improve education in Pakistan. Global partners including US, EU, UAE, Qatar and Global Partnership for Education had committed millions of dollars for this purpose.
The centerpiece of this strategy would be to incentivize literacy at the district and community levels. Poor families sending their children to school would receive help under a cash transfer scheme.
The Envoy indicated that donors were willing to increase funding depending on the results of the scheme. IMF could also be approached to relax terms for financing of education sector in Pakistan. He noted that only fifteen months were left to achieving Millennium Development Goals on education and governments would have to redouble efforts to pull off extraordinary results in this short period. Convening of a donor conference could also be considered to seek additional funds for education in Pakistan from the potential donors.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif welcomed Gordon Brown’s proposal and appreciated his efforts for promotion of education in Pakistan. The Prime Minister told that he would personally discuss the proposal with the Chief Ministers of the provinces, who were very receptive to any cooperation in the field of education in line with government’s priority. The Prime Minister added that education was a top priority for his Government as reflected in Vision-2025.
The Government had raised allocation for education to 2% of GDP and he was committed to take it to 4% of GDP by 2018. Government’s first priority was to achieve 100% enrolment. This required incentives to poor families to encourage them to send their children to school.
The proposed fund would be utilized for incentivizing education at the district and community level. Release of funds would be conditional upon amatching increase in district budgets by the concerned provinces and a 10% increase in enrolments. He assured the Envoy that the funds would be utilized strictly for the purpose of education under a transparent and tangible plan for maximum results.
The two leaders also exchanged views on other issues of mutual interest including ongoing military operation against terrorists, floods in Pakistan, and the recent referendum in Scotland.