Islamabad, February 13, 2014 (PPI-OT): Minister of state for Education, Training and Standards in Higher Education, Eng. Muhammad Bligh-Ur-Rehman while addressing the USAID sponsored Pakistan Reading Project ceremony said that project aims at enhancing the reading abilities and promote reading habits among the children attending schools.
Major components of the project include; provision of reading material for the students in schools, teachers, training and support to school administration for promoting reading skills and habits among the children.
The Minister further said that that Pakistan Reading Project (PRP) is an off budget project which will be implemented by USAID itself while the role of the Ministry of Education and Training is restricted to facilitation and support for the implementation of the project.
The picture of illiteracy in Pakistan is grim. Although previous governments have announced various programs to promote literacy, especially among women. But they have been unable to translate their words into action because of various political and cultural obstacles.
He further emphasized that Education is not only necessary for the social and economic well-being of the country, it is also crucial for ensuring social mobility, reducing inequality and addressing poverty.
He further said, “I believe that education is an issue of basic human rights. With heavy heart I’ m saying that primary school enrolment rate is only 66 percent and 7.2 million primary school age children are still out of school we are hopeful that Pakistan Reading Project a five year commitment of the United States Government will assist our Government’s efforts to improve the prevailing situation by reaching out to 4 million primary school children and providing them with the opportunity to enhance their reading skills the project will also built the capacity of the teachers which is very important”.
The Ambassador of United States in Pakistan Mr. Richard Olson said that he was pleased to see the students because they are the future of the Pakistan. He further said that United States is proud to be funding this program, which will further expand our longtime partnership with the government of Pakistan to help ensure that education is available to all of Pakistani children. He quoted Quaid-e-Azam M. A. Jinnah who once said,
“Education is a matter of life and death for Pakistan. He world is progressing so rapidly that without the requisite advance in education, not only shall we be left behind others but we may be wiped out altogether”.
It is this vision that brings us here today. The Pakistan Reading Project is an opportunity to improve the reading skills of the millions of Pakistani children. Better reading skills will help students like you across Pakistan- improve their chances of success in the rest of their educational pursuits.
By improved reading skills you can achieve your dreams of serving and representing your country. He further emphasized that reading at home is just as important as reading at school. Principal of the school Saiqa Arif and Ambassador Catharine Russell also spoke on the occasion and emphasized the importance of learning in the life of the nations.
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