ISLAMABAD: British High Commissioner to Pakistan Adam Thomson has said that United Kingdom is working in a big way to help Pakistan get more children into schools and train English language teachers.
In an exclusive interview to Radio Pakistan, he said they are heavily engaged with the Government to increase school enrollment.
He said the UK helped Punjab Government to bring an extra one and a half million children into primary schools during the last three years and is working closely to realize the target of universal primary education in the province by 2018.
The High Commissioner said the British Council is also working closely and would extend cooperation to KPK and Sindh to train over three hundred thousand teachers of English language.
He said the UK is also helping build twenty thousand class rooms by 2015 in Pakistan.
He, however, said it is for Pakistan Government and its people to ensure that militants are not allowed to shut these schools and prevent girls from attending educational institutions.
To a question he said the United Kingdom had wonderful partnership with the previous and present Punjab Government and the present KPK Government too.
He said the UK is persuading other international donors to contribute towards promotion of education in Pakistan.
He said there is challenge in Sindh but with the help of private sector they have set up an Education Fund to help children attend schools. Presently, the number is thirty thousand but it is fast growing.
Replying to another question he said Pakistan’s spending on education is amongst the least in the world. He, however, said the challenge is on how to manage the money effectively.
He said Punjab’s road map for education is best example of monitoring the programme, focusing whether children are coming to school and schools have the necessary facilities.
He said since inception of this roadmap attendance of teachers in government schools has increased from 81% in 2010 to 93% today.
About perception of Pakistan in the outside world, the UK High Commissioner said he and his colleagues in the High Commission have been working hard to getting policy-makers in London and elsewhere understand that what they see on television screens is not whole story about Pakistan. He said vast majority of Pakistanis are moderate.
About grant of GSP Plus status to Pakistan by European Union, he said the United Kingdom lobbied for Pakistan and said the country was close to a final decision by the EU Parliament on the subject.