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Pakistan: Education

Question for Department for International Development

UIN 2738, tabled on 21 October 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if he will allocate additional funding for programmes in Pakistan to (a) educate school children from minority backgrounds, (b) institute a scheme of specialist educational scholarships for minority students and (c) provide professional training to adults from religious minority groups.

Answered on

29 October 2019

UK aid prioritises support for the poorest and most excluded people and communities in Pakistan regardless of race, religion, social background or nationality. DFID Pakistan is currently developing new education programmes and as part of this process we will actively consider what we can do to benefit these groups.

Previous and current DFID programmes in Pakistan have supported senior secondary and higher education scholarships for children from minority groups in Punjab. The Alif Ailaan education campaign had a focus on religious minorities in regions such as Tharpakar, Badin, Multan, and Rahimyar Khan where the local campaigners have advocated for religious minorities and highlighted their issues to authorities at the district and provincial levels.

Nearly 6,000 people from religious minorities have received training through the Punjab Skills Development Fund’s regular skill schemes, and the Fund is launching an exclusive skills scheme for religious minorities from January 2020. Under this scheme, a further 5,000 people from religious minorities (40% women) who are unemployed will be trained in a variety of trades that will lead to work. Lessons from this experience will help the Punjab Skills Development Fund further refine its interventions for minorities.