In the presence of the Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training, Mohammad Baligh-ur-Rehman, and Additional Secretary, Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and Natural Heritage, Syed Junaid Akhlaq, UNESCO and the Government of Italy signed an agreement for securing the educational rights of women in Pakistan. The agreement is of approximately USD 1.7 million to enable UNESCO to implement a two-year project titled “Support to girls’ right to education and safeguarding cultural heritage through education in Pakistan”.
The agreement was signed by H.E Stefano Pontecorvo, the Italian ambassador to Pakistan, Ms. Santa Molè, Head of Italian Cooperation and Ms. Vibeke Jensen, UNESCO Representative.
The project has two components: the first one on Education which aims to support the efforts of Government of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in increasing access, retention and improving the quality of girls’ education through capacity building and targeted interventions at both institutional and community levels.
District Bahawalpur in the Punjab and District Swat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are focus districts. “The Italian funds allow us to expand our on-going girls’ right to education interventions to more districts, and we are deeply grateful for that” said Vibeke Jensen, UNESCO representative.
The second component is aimed at supporting the efforts of the Government of Pakistan in the protection of Cultural Heritage through enhancing the role of young people and communities in safeguarding cultural heritage through capacity building in protection.
UNESCO will undertake awareness raising activities among the general public and specifically focus on school going youth and teachers. All four provinces will benefit from the interventions of this component.
“SDG 4 on education points out the importance of teaching children respect for cultural diversity, respect for the environment and promote a culture of peace.
“We are delighted to provide this assistance through UNESCO to the Government of Pakistan allowing future generations to fully appreciate the incredible rich and diverse culture that Pakistan possess” stressed Santa Molè, Head of AICS.