UNESCO organises advocacy walk

ISLAMABAD: The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Islamabad organised an advocacy walk at Sports Complex Islamabad to observe Global Action Week on Education For All (EFA). In Pakistan, UNESCO Islamabad office has been observing GAW every year through holding advocacy events, disseminating information and public service messages through its network and collaboration with government counterparts, parliamentarians, civil society organisations, and academia and media fraternity.Speaking on the occasion, Dr Kozue Kay Nagata, Director UNESCO Islamabad welcomed the participants and extended her gratitude for joining in the walk. She said that Pakistan had made some progress on the education front which can be seen but yet exclusion of disable persons, especially children in education remains on the alarming challenge today. It is “unfortunate that children with disabilities” are less likely to complete primary schooling. For many, even access to education is simply denied.  During this global action week we raise the flag for education is a universal human right, no one must be denied access because of disability.This is a UNESCO priority and we are acting across the world to break down barriers for people with disabilities to empower them as agents of change. We all have the shared vision and a common objective and we all stand united for this noble cause”, Dr Nagata added.Prof Rafique Tahir, Senior Joint Secretary CAAD while speaking on the occasion said the event was organized for raising awareness on EFA by bringing together a critical mass of government functionaries, local NGOs including organizations of disable persons, media, students, and local community activists for the cause of education. He said it was government mission to enroll all out of school children in Islamabad including disabled. Under the slogan “Equal Right, Equal Opportunity: Education and Disability” the 2014 Global Action Week this year was to highlight the profound challenges faced by the persons with disabilities in realizing their right to education.The Global Action Week (GAW) on EFA, an annual campaign organized by the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) aimed to raise awareness on the importance of Education for All. UNESCO participates in the Global Action Week by mobilizing its networks and partners, by collecting and sharing policies and practices and by organizing activities around the world, through its Field Offices. About 1000 students of the Islamabad College for Girls and Boys together with a large number of persons with disabilities and representatives of the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD), UNESCO, Civil Society and media participated in the walk. The participants of the walk gathered at sports complex holding banners and play cards with display of messages related to the campaign. The walk started from Roshan Khan Complex and ended up at the Jinnah Stadium.

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