In 1947, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah said: "Education is a matter of life or death for Pakistan. The world is moving so quickly that no early enough in education, not just going to fall behind other but can be ruled out entirely. "And yet, if the global knowledge economy were a student's school and Pakistan, Pakistan now get a failing grade.
The overall average enrollment of elementary school is a surprisingly low 87 percent and yet Pakistan is still less than 56 percent. The economic opportunity cost of not educating children in Pakistan is suffering the same 2010 flood every year. The health of the nation and its stability are also affected. This is an emergency education.
Seventeen million children of school age not in school. That's equivalent to the entire population of Karachi. For every 10 school children around the world, is a Pakistani.
Progress has been made. In the 18 th Amendment, for the first time, education is no longer a privilege but a fundamental right for all children. Article 25-A says: "The State guarantees free and compulsory education to all children age 5 to 16 years." But this progress is not fast enough. But only one child in four does so in secondary education. Children are the future of the country and Pakistan is failing its future. No country can follow the path to a happy future if you can not read road signs. Nothing less than a transformation of education is necessary.
The UK is already working with Pakistan to help in this necessary transformation in education in Pakistan. The UK has more to offer to Pakistan on education than any other country. UK and Pakistan are united by something more than our history and language. More Pakistanis still have English tests than any other nationality out of a public sector of formal education. UKaid and the British Council is dedicated to training in Pakistan and UKaid is investing almost the equivalent of Rs 100 billion over four years in primary education.
UKaid help four million additional children in Pakistani primary school by 2015 - about those who are in primary school in England. Our goal is to train 90,000 teachers, funds of six million sets of textbooks, and reconstruction of schools destroyed by militants KPK or flooding.
Imagine raising primary school enrollment through Pakistan to the world average of 87 percent over five years. It is very possible. Imagine the social and political alliances that have achieved this, among the media, civil society, private sector and politicians. With parents mobilized to demand, and galvanized political leaders to offer a better education for children.
Imagine then how well the nation feels about his accomplishments and how much he would like to complete the rest of the trip easier to 100 percent. All you need is leadership.
Pakistan and the UK are connected, joined at the hip. You can not thrive if they fail. You can not thrive if its population is illiterate. The Quaid-i-Azam recognized the importance of education in 1947. Sixty-five years later, the UK is working nationwide to meet the current emergency education and help ensure a prosperous future for Pakistan.