Islamabad, H.E. Kjell-Gunnar Eriksen, Norwegian Ambassador to Pakistan and Ms. Patricia McPhillips, UNESCOs Representative/Director signed an agreement for additional funding of NOK 11 million for Girls’ Lower Secondary Education Programme (GLSEP) in Pakistan. With the additional funding, Norwegian support to UNESCO has been increased from NOK 13.5 million to NOK 24.5 million for the promotion of girls’ lower secondary education in five marginalised districts of Pakistan. This includes the districts of Kohistan, Mohmand and Swat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, district Muzaffargarh in South Punjab and district Tharparkar in Sindh. The programme aims at supporting the provincial governments in improving girls transition from primary to lower secondary education, increasing access to schools, and enhancing learning through a holistic approach to quality education at the lower secondary level.
Speaking at the occasion, Ms. Patricia McPhillips commended the additional contribution of the Norwegian Government and highlighted that the funding will have a significant impact to reduce girls dropping out from schools after completion of primary education and encourage girls to transition from primary to lower secondary school. The UNESCOs representative noted the additional contribution will be programmed in the most isolated areas of Pakistan.
H.E. Kjell-Gunnar Eriksen noted appreciation for the promotion of girls’ education, which is a priority of the Government of Pakistan and that promotion of girls education is also at the apex of Norwegian support to Pakistan. GLSEP is one of the biggest programmes of Norway in Pakistan, which is a testimony of our shared objectives for promoting girls education in marginalised areas of the country, the Ambassador highlighted. He further shared that the additional support, in addition to the ongoing support, will provide a consistency of our collective efforts for supporting the transition of girls to lower secondary education in Pakistan.
Norways long-standing programme support has made remarkable contributions to increase both access and quality of education, with a special focus on girls. The Norwegian Governments commitment to invest in education sector with a holistic approach to improve girls access and quality of education will further the prospects of cooperation between the two countries.