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Reaffirming Malala Fund’s long-term commitment to girls in Pakistan

Malala Fund

Malala Fund

Malala Fund is working for a world where every girl can learn and lead.

This week in Islamabad, Malala Fund staff including Javed Ahmed Malik, Programme Director, Pakistan and Maliha Khan, Chief Programmes Officer joined members of The Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training to formalise an agreement to advance secondary school-aged girls’ access to science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) education.

This partnership comes after Malala Fund launched a national office in Pakistan this past month — marking the first programme country where the organisation is registered.

“This is a historic moment. Malala Fund always had the ambition to impact the scale and the quality of girls education in the country. We are grateful to the government of Pakistan for offering us this collaboration and look forward to expanding our work long-term and building stronger national partnerships to support schools across the country. It is a bold, ambitious project and we will do everything we can to make it a success by working alongside the Ministry of Education and our inspiring civil society and private sector partners,” says Javed Ahmed Malik. “We believe in girls’ strength and leadership potential — and improving access to 12 years of free, safe quality education will best set them up for success.”

The new initiative entitled STEAM Education for Girls is the organisation’s first-ever strategic partnership with the federal government of Pakistan. Over the next five-years, Malala Fund commits to provide the ministry with technical assistance, communications support and help them to develop a national STEAM policy and operational framework that will allow private sector and international collaborations at the school level. This programme aims to reach 13,000 public high schools. It will benefit all students, but include a focus on improving girls’ access and agency.

In a piece for DAWN, Federal Secretary Naheed S Durrani said: “The ministry is very thrilled to invite Malala Fund to help push the ministry’s existing STEAM programme which has tremendous potential to improve learning at school level. Emphasis on girls will also help to improve girls’ agency and their perception in the society to play a more confident and leading role in national development in line with the government of Pakistan’s policy and the federal ministry’s vision.”

Pakistan has made a lot of progress for girls’ education in the last decade — but 12 million girls remain out of school, with only 13% of girls reaching grade nine. Since 2014, Malala Fund has invested more than $7.5M in local organisations across Pakistan. This work has focused on advocating for quality education, improved school infrastructure in rural regions and wider digital inclusion.

Looking ahead, Malala Fund Pakistan’s legal status will enable the Pakistan office  to employ full time staff, participate in direct advocacy with the government, and implement and fund programmes directly. Additionally, the Pakistan office will work with national  partners to advocate parliamentarians and policymakers to prioritise  girls’ education as a political priority and to push for legislative oversight of existing education laws to ensure effective implementation.

To learn about Malala Fund’s work in Pakistan, visit malala.org/countries/pakistan

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