Italy to launch initiative to educate out-of-school children in Pakistan

By APP
June 25, 2024
Italian Ambassador to Pakistan Marilina Armellin is seen in this image released on January 15, 2024. —X/ItalyMFA_int

Islamabad:The Italian Ambassador to Pakistan Marilina Armellin has taken initiative to educate out-of-school children in Pakistan through Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI).

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Education remains a distant dream for many children in rural areas of Pakistan. Therefore, she took up the initiative to highlight the benefits of enrolment and education through radio broadcast.

The initiative will also help in sharing practical information on sustainable development practices for schools. In an exclusive interview with APP, the ambassador disclosed that a groundbreaking IRI initiative was set to unfold next month, poised to redefine access to learning for millions of out-of-school children.

Italy, in collaboration with local partners and supported by Unesco, will launch a pioneering ‘Radio Education’ programme to bridge educational gaps and empower underprivileged communities across Pakistan. Pakistan faces stark challenges with a 62% literacy rate and significant disparities in educational access.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s recent ‘Education Emergency’ pledges a comprehensive effort to integrate millions of out-of-school children into the educational fold. This initiative underscores a pivotal moment in Pakistan’s quest for inclusive education and economic progress.

Marilina responding to a question, underscored the pivotal roles of government, teachers, and parents in fostering a robust educational ecosystem. Italy, with its rich educational heritage, she said, supported Pakistan through Unesco-backed projects like radio education in remote areas.

The project not only to promote learning but also empower communities to embrace sustainable practices, enhancing resilience against environmental challenges, she added. Beyond education, Italy and Pakistan explore economic synergies.

With burgeoning trade ties and shared interests in agriculture, energy, and tourism, both nations seek to capitalize on their respective strengths.

The potential for direct flights between Milan and Lahore, would cater the need of vibrant Pakistani diaspora in Italy, signals a promising future for bilateral connectivity and cultural exchange.

As Pakistan navigates its educational landscape and economic aspirations, collaboration with Italy stands as a beacon of hope and opportunity. Through concerted efforts and shared visions, both nations strive towards a future where education serves as a cornerstone of societal prosperity and inclusive growth.

Ambassador Marilina said that in Pakistan, Italy’s support was making a significant difference through diverse projects aimed at education and environmental sustainability. She also highlighted her country’s efforts, including the Pakistan-Italy Debt Swap Agreement (PIDSA) funding 48 projects nationwide, adding “In Gilgit-Baltistan, they’re aiding environmental strategies and promoting eco-tourism.”

Their collaboration with UNESCO includes projects like “Support to Girls’ Right of Education,” enrolling 6,570 girls and training 457 teachers in innovative methods.

The upcoming ‘Radio Education’ project will use Interactive Radio Instruction to enhance after-school education and community resilience. Marilina emphasized literacy’s role in empowering individuals and improving socio-economic outcomes.

“Italy’s commitment underscores international cooperation’s impact in Pakistan, fostering a more equitable future through education and sustainable development,” the ambassador remarked replying to a question.

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