5,500 out-of-school girls provided Accelerated Learning under the GEC-FCDO programme
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ACTED Pakistan held a closing ceremony to celebrate the achievements of its Girls Education project funded by UK Aid.
The programme titled, Closing the Gap – Leave No Girl Behind (LNGB) was held by ACTED with its partners - Right To Play (RTP) and Adult Basic Education Society (ABES), beneficiaries and other key stakeholders.
The event highlighted the challenges, successes, and achievements of the 04-year long project and involved the signing of an agreement with the Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) for continued support and cooperation for the education of marginalised girls in Sindh.
The Closing the Gap - Leave no Girl Behind (LNGB) programme is funded under the global Girls Education Challenge (GEC) programme of the UK Aid in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It targets a total of 5,500 beneficiaries including 4,400 girls who have never been to school. Under the project, ACTED has established 39 learning centres for an Accelerated Learning Program and 173 centres for basic Literacy and Numeracy, and trained 153 Girls in vocational skills to support their livelihood.
The event also highlighted the work of another GEC project, TEACH being implemented in Balochistan by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and catering to approx. 29,000 beneficiaries through vocational training, accelerated learning programme and radio lessons.
Ms. Kim Bradford Smith, Education Team Lead at the British High Commission Islamabad, opened the event while highlighting priorities for the UK Government to support the cause of girls’ education across the globe and especially in Pakistan and the South Asia region. She remarked, “The UK is committed to work with Pakistan to ensure No Girl is Left Behind. If we educate girls today, we will transform the world of tomorrow and ensure all future generations thrive.”
Mr. Ian Attfield, GEC South Asia Regional Education Advisor at UKAID outlined the GEC Pakistan portfolio (LNGB stream) and FCDO’s regional approach towards girls’ education. “In collaboration with Provincial and local authorities, we have made remarkable progress in supporting the most marginalised girls to learn and succeed through the both Covid-19 pandemic and flooding disruption. Investing in girls education and women is a sure way to build the resilience and prosperity of all communities”, Ian highlighted.
Participants emphasized the importance of empowering girls through education and life skill development, developing linkages between communities and government stakeholders and for increasing national ownership, and prioritizing women empowerment at the grassroots level. Mr. Attfield also thanked the GEC partners and participants and expressed his gratitude for the role of concerned Federal and Provincial Departments who have been ensuring sustainability and support, all along, for successful implementation of the projects.
Ms. Sadia Hussain, Team Lead Education and Protection ACTED, introduced the Closing the Gap project and shed light on the needs, challenges, and the sustainability of girls’ education in Sindh. The event also showcased the project documentaries prepared by ACTED and IRC, highlighting the successes and achievements of the programme.
The main highlight of the event was a panel discussion of graduate learners where they confidently shared their journey of learning and empowerment through this programme. This interactive panel discussion with the learners reflects on their journey of educational empowerment, showing challenges faced, change in social status and their future inspirations.
At the event, an agreement was signed between ACTED and the Sindh Education Foundation (SEF), marking initiation of a strategic partnership for sustainability and scale-up of the Closing the Gap – LNGB project. At the occasion, Secretary Education Sindh, Dr. Aftab Sheikh, emphasized the education is the current government’s priority and several initiatives have been launched to address the challenge of out of school children. Dr. Aftab also pledged continued support to development sector organizations for the promotion of girls’ education in Sindh.