LAHORE - Oxfam in Pakistan on Friday launched ‘Alif Say Uraan’ campaign for girls education to mark International Day of Education. The campaign aims at establishing the demand for improved enrolment and allocation of resources for the education of girls across Pakistan. Speaking at launching ceremony at a local hotel, Idara-e-Taleem-Aagahi (ITA) CEO Beala Raza Jamil said that girls education was on the top of agenda of her institution. “The higher their (girls) enrollment, the lesser their learning gap will be with boys. We needs campaigns to highlight ongoing challenges that keep girls from their fundamental entitlements of learning, access to well-equipped schools equitable financing, lack of transportation, security and a severe shortage of schools at middle and secondary levels.

We cannot continue with girls being treated with such discrimination blocking their educational journeys at grade 5,’’ she said. ‘’Without the urgent and collective efforts of all the stakeholders, we can’t achieve the vision of access to quality education for all. We must pledge action for girls in Pakistan,” she said while urging parliamentarians to play their role for ensuring education at least up to 16 years of age. Oxfam in Pakistan’s Country Director Mohammed Qazilbash said that more than 22.8 million children in Pakistan were out of schools. Poverty, social norms, insecurity and escalating incidents of armed conflicts and violence has led to a decrease in girls’ enrollment and an increase in gender disparity in education. He said education was integral to the development of Pakistan. ‘’If we are to tackle this crisis where children, especially girls, don’t have access to quality education, we will all have to work together,’’ he added.