Fifty-five new schools constructed by UNICEF in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with funding from Australia and the Netherlands were inaugurated by the Australian High Commissioner Timothy George, the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Kingdom of the Netherlands Sander Janssen and the UNICEF Representative in Pakistan Dan Rohrmann, at a ceremony held Tuesday in Gari Habibullah Government Primary School in earthquake-affected
northwestern Pakistan. “Education is an investment in the future of individuals, communities, and the nation”, said Australian High Commissioner Timothy George. “Australia is proud to be supporting UNICEF’s work, in partnership with the Government of Pakistan, to reconstruct 149 schools, therefore providing thousands of children a safe space in which to continue – or in some cases commence – their education”. Speaking on the occasion, the Dutch Chargé d’Affaires Sander Janssen said, “In any society, children are the future. These new schools in the earthquake-affected regions are an asset and we believe that quality education for children is necessary for the good future of Pakistan. It is now up to the Provincial Government to make sure that these new schools are properly maintained and that they continue providing quality education”. UNICEF has constructed seismic resistant state-of-the-art schools in Mansehra district as part of the Pakistan Earthquake Education Programme for children affected by the tragedy in 2005. With the 55 new schools, 206 of the planned 219 schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have now been completed and handed over to the provincial education department. The remaining schools are at differing stages of construction and will be completed by the end of June 2012. “Education is not only the basic right of every child but also a necessity for national development,” said UNICEF Pakistan Representative Dan Rohrmann. “Creating opportunities for children in the wake of the 2005 earthquake is a mission UNICEF embarked upon soon after the tragedy.”