4 November 2019 (Karachi): Pakistan Alliance for Girls Education (PAGE)’s Global Girls Education Ambassador and actress Aamina Sheikh visited a non-formal school established by Alight Pakistan, formerly known as American Refugee Committee, in partnership with PAGE in Korangi Town under the Educate a Child (EAC) programme. The EAC programme is the country’s largest intervention for out of school children, bringing one million children of primary school age into schools. The ‘STAR’ school provides free, quality primary education to the 42 children currently enroled. It is also supported by PAGE’s Overseas Pakistani Network. Sheikh is active in the campaign for a cause close to her heart: inclusivity of every child towards education.

The non-formal school will provide free, quality primary education for the children. The actress led confidence-building activities with the children and their mothers, talking of the cruciality of primary education in reducing poverty and improving quality of life. She commended the parents for sending their children to the school. The school will be critical in raising literacy rates in the heavily populated neighborhood.

Alight Pakistan and PAGE are coordinating the nation’s largest ever out-of-school children intervention in collaboration with the Ministry of Federal Education & Professional Training and Education Above All, Qatar. The program inducts the children into a fast track learning program and equips them with basic literacy skills. PAGE is also a partner of the Million Kids to School program. This school is set up as a partnership between PAGE, Alight Pakistan, with technical partnership with JICA.

Pakistan has the second-highest number of OOSC, with at least 5.9 million children under age 9 not attending school. Collaborative efforts of the public, private and development sector as well as philanthropists have been tackling the challenge. The program has developed partnerships with Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), Provincial Departments, and civil society organizations to address the daunting challenge.