ISLAMABAD: Japan will provide Pakistan a grant of Rs 829 million for upgradation of 30 girls primary schools to elementary schools in rural areas of Sindh.
Japan’s ambassador in Pakistan Hiroshi Inomata and Economic Affairs Division Secretary Nargis Sethi signed the 808 million Japanese Yen agreement to implement the ‘Project for Upgrading Primary Girls Schools into Elementary Schools in Southern Rural Sindh’.
The ambassador told the ceremony that that only 7% of girls between age 10 and 12 were enrolled in schools in rural areas of Sindh due to lack of girls schools at the elementary-middle level. He said 2400 more girls will be accommodated in the elementary-middle schools after completion of the project. “The main objective of this project is to improve access to basic education for girls. This will help Pakistan achieve the Millennium Development Goals,” the ambassador said.
Expanding education opportunities in Pakistan has been one of Japan’s priority development areas and Japan has built around 530 schools so far in various parts of Pakistan since the commencement of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme in 1954, Inomata said, and added 2014 marks the 60th anniversary of Japan’s ODA in Pakistan.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently made a global commitment to implement US$ 3 billion ODA over the next three years to create ‘a society in which women shine’, the ambassador said and added that the new project for Sindh is in line with Abe’s commitment.
The ambassador emphasised the importance of promoting girls education and hoped that girls to be educated in new schools in Sindh will play an important role in shaping the Pakistani society in future.
Nargas Sethi expressed her appreciation for Japan’s efforts in promoting education in Pakistan.
Senior Representative of JICA Pakistan Office Ken Kato said the new project will add around 30 elementary-middle schools for girls in rural areas of six districts of Hyderabad, Badin, Tando Allah Yar, Jamshoro, Nawabshah and Mirpurkhas in Sindh. He requested the Sindh government to ensure sufficient teachers once the new schools are built so that the project is able to achieve its goals.
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