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U.S. to Improve Reading and Literacy in Pakistan

Islamabad: Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, and Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq, Senior Minister, Education and Literacy Department, Government of Sindh, launched the USAID funded National Reading Program at Government Girls Primary/Secondary School in Sultanabad, Karachi.

The National Reading Program consists of three projects – two national and one focused on Sindh – that will help to train teachers, improve reading skills and numeracy, and mobilize communities to support school management. It will also increase enrollment of students and ensure student retention, especially of girls.

The program aims to improve literacy and numeracy for nearly 7 million children, provide training to over 90,000 teachers in teaching and assessment, and support the development of 3.2 million new readers – including 700,000 children in Sindh. USAID will be supporting the school with a reading program under the Sindh Basic Education Program. USAID’s Sindh Basic Education Program started in 2011 and will span until 2016, with a budget of 155 million dollars.

“This is good because it supplements your education budget, a budget that is woefully underfunded. But more importantly it establishes the need for accountability in school administration and management. We are both now accountable to citizens who look to us to be stewards of these resources. We will work together to ensure that they are used correctly on behalf of the students of Pakistan like those sitting here with us today,” – stated USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah.

The event was attended by the senior officials of US Government, members of Sindh Provincial Government, representatives from Sultanabad School, other officials, and students. At the conclusion of a lively event, school children sang songs and read from story books, inspiring the guests. The Senior Minister and USAID Administrator unveiled a plaque commemorating USAID’s commitment to promotion of education and literacy in Pakistan.

For more information, contact:
Public Affairs Section
Embassy of the United States of America
Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +9251-208 0000
Fax: +9251-227 8607
E-mail: webmasterisb@state.gov

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