Government of Pakistan
Benazir Income Support Programme
January 31, 2018
PM ABBASI INAUGURATES EXPANSION OF BISP’S EDUCATION INITIATIVE ‘WASEELA-E-TALEEM’ TO 50 DISTRICTS
ISLAMABAD (JAN 31): Prime Mnister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated expansion of, BISP’s education initiative ‘Waseela-e-Taleem’ which focuses on enrollment and retention of primary school going children in 50 districts across Pakistan.
The inauguration was held in BISP headquarters and was attended by Minister of State and Chairperson BISP MNA Marvi Memon, Secretary BISP Mr. Omar Hamid Khan, Ministers, Diplomats, Country Representative World Bank Mr. Ilango Patchamuthu, Country Head DFID Ms. Joanna Reid, BISP beneficiaries and their primary school children and students from Roots International.
Prime Minister Abbasi said education was the key to a nation’s progress and development and country cannot move ahead without a well educated and fully trained human resource. He added that any child without education was a burden on the society and the nation and the parents need to play their critical role in ensuring that their children were not a drop out.
Under the Waseela-e-Taleem program each beneficiary child receives a cash transfer of Rs 750 a quarter, on conditional completion of 70 percent attendance in schools in 32 districts across the four provinces and Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. The program is being extended to 50 districts and add another one million children to the current enrollment of 1.9 million.
The Prime Minister said the BISP program for the poorest segments of the society was totally non-political in nature and extended beyond the provincial boundaries. He said it empowers the women and focuses on her critical role in sending her children to school and not to work. He asked the participants from 32 districts of the country, and particularly the women to ensure that there was no child in the neighbourhood also that was deprived of education.
He said the government was committed to the provision of education for all as it believed that without any knowledge, the society would not be able to fight the ills of extremism and terrorism.
He was appreciative of the role of the BISP and its partners, the World Bank and the Department for International Development (DFID) of the UK for helping the country achieve its target of universal education for all commitments, under the Millennium Development Goals.
He said the government definitely needs to do more for education and said despite the fact that it was a provincial subject, the federal government was obligated to provide them the guidance and vision to ensure 100% enrollment, retention and graduation. Abbasi was optimist that the target of adding another one million children to the already enrolled 1.9 million would be achieved. He however asked the BISP to ensure that quality education was imparted to the children under this program.
Chairperson BISP lauded the vision of the PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif and said the program has gradually enhanced scope from Rs 40 billion annually to Rs 121 billion and would further expand in the days ahead. She was appreciative of her team for their hard work and making the various initiatives undertaken, a success. She also ensured the Prime Minister to achieve further milestones in the days to come.
Country Head DFID Joanna Reid said the United Kingdom was partners with Pakistan in its progress and development over the past 70 years and committed to make it prosperous. She noted the strong and sustainable social network in the form of 60,000 BISP Beneficiary Committees (BBCs) initiated by the BISP and said the UK was particularly pleased to be part of Waseela-e-Taleem program in which about half of children are girls.
The World Bank Country Head Illango Patchamuthu termed Waseela-e-Taleem as a flagship safety net program and said it was amongst the top rated such programs in the world. He stressed continued good governance to ensure the success of the program and said the World Bank would continue to extend support to the BISP.
Secretary BISP, in his welcome remarks, said that BISP was extending support to 5.4 million families and was spending Rs 121 billion per annum. He shared the achievements of Waseela-e-Taleem program and added that the conditional cash transfer would help add more children to the schools. He also thanked the development partners for their contribution in making Waseela-e-Taleem a success.