ISLAMABAD - Only 39 percent of rural girls in the country have the opportunity of attending school up to secondary level, far fewer than boys, speakers said on Wednesday.

Federal Ministry for Education and Professional Training and Pakistan Alliance for Girls Education (PAGE) organised a national seminar on girls’ education. The event witnessed participation of over 150 participants including representatives from Ministry for Education and Professional Training, Planning Commission and PAGE Alliance members across Pakistan.

Federal minister Shafqat Mahmood brought a sharp focus on girl’s education and reiterated that girl’s education is a pre requisite to country’s economic development.

Dr Tariq H Cheema, Chairman PAGE, also country representative of ARC Pakistan, welcomed the guests’. Highlighting the alarming picture of girl’s education, Dr Cheema explained that only 39 % of rural girls attend secondary school, far fewer than rural boys (45 percent) who are able to make it the secondary school.

He highlighted that only effective public-private partnerships can turn these crises into an opportunity and address challenges pertaining to girl’s education in Pakistan. Appreciating her efforts in most remote areas of Pakistan, minister said that women are playing a proactive role by working shoulder to shoulder with men in every field of life. Naheed Bibi is a true example and a constant source of inspiration for other women who are working in most remote areas of Pakistan to promote better educational attainments. ARC Pakistan is one of the PAGE Alliance Member and running the country’s biggest enrolment program to enrol One Million Out-of-School Children (OOSC) in schools.