President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday said that the history would never forgive us if we do not made children’s education compulsory.
The President launched 'Waseela-e-Taleem" scheme under Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) aimed at providing free education to the children of the poor families.
He launched the initiative at a ceremony held at the Aiwan-e-Sadr in Islamabad. It was attended among others by former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General on Global Education Gordon Brown.
Waseela-e-Taleem aims at enrolling three million children in primary education in the next four years.
Speaking on the occasion‚ the President said Benazir Income Support Programme is the flagship programme of poverty alleviation and women empowerment. He said BISP is not merely a cash grant programme as it aims at enabling the poorest of the poor to stand on their own feet.
The President said Pakistan is committed to achieve universal primary education. As a result of the Constitutional Amendment education is now included in fundamental rights.
President Zardari said, “We believe that ignorance and poverty go hand-in-hand. He said that Waseela-e-Taleem lays solid foundation for a brighter future for poor children.”
Education being a provincial subject‚ the President urged provinces to extend all possible support to BISP in implementation of the Waseela-e-Taleem programme. Zardari said he would personally monitor its progress and implementation.
He also thanked donor institutions and countries for their support to the Benazir Income Support Programme.
Gordon Brown appreciated Pakistan and its leadership on launching the programme which is manifestation of their resolve to secure better future for their children through education.
The UN Envoy said he has brought a petition signed by one million people around the globe in support of Malala Yousafzai and her vision for promotion of education.
He said launching of the programme reflects determination of not only the government and the parliamentarians but also the entire country that every single child will have a chance for education.
Gordon Brown said the international community‚ the World Bank and many countries want to work with Pakistan in their determination to tackle the programme poverty and fighting ignorance.
He expressed pleasure that Pakistan has matched the petition he has brought from international community by signing of petition by a million Pakistanis for the cause of education.
On the occasion‚ the President signed the petition of the million signatures.
Chairperson of the Benazir Income Support Programme said the programme has evolved as the most comprehensive social safety net in the country. She said we are making every possible effort for betterment of poorest of the poor and weakest segments of the society.
She said that at present Pakistan has been fighting two types of wars the one is against terrorism and the other is against poverty and ignorance.