On November 14, ARC-Alight held the Balochistan Advocacy Seminar which invited experts on the region’s out-of-school children issue, at Boy Scouts Hall. It was attended by the Secretary for Sports, Environment and Youth Affairs for the government of Balochistan, Muneer Ahmed Badini, Deputy Chief Advisor, JICA-Aqal Project, Mr. Abid Hussain Gill, and Secretary Social Welfare, Mr. Rauf Baloch. Approximately 100 people were in attendance, along with formerly-OOSC children whose cases were highlighted by Aiza Abdullah of M.E.A.L, Alight Balochistan.
The seminar highlighted Alight, JICA, and the government’s efforts to enrol disadvantaged, marginalized children in the province and improve local education. Secretary for Sports, Environment and Youth Affairs for the government of Balochistan, Muneer Ahmed Badini talked about the necessity of education for individual development. ALIGHT’s Deputy Chief of Party, Mr. Zabardast Khan Bangash, noted that Pakistan has the world’s second highest number of out of school children and said that similar seminars are also to be held in other provinces, to be culminated finally in a national-level seminar. In the panel discussion, experts talked about existing issues and innovative solutions. The panel comprised of Mr. Abdul Khaliq, Mr. Ghulam Mustafa, PD BEP, and Mr. Sarwar Javed.
Former OOSC children’s case studies were highlighted at the event, showing the children and their guardians’/parents’ determination towards improving the quality of their life by investing in an education. Shields were presented to LMs and regional experts for their impact in the challenge to alleviate the province’s out of school children issue.