Approximately three million children in the province of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, formerly the North West Frontier Province, will receive free textbooks under a new program unveiled June 10 by U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell during his visit to Pakistan.
In addition to providing textbooks, the 8.13 million pound (USD12 million) program also seeks to encourage some 300,000 girls in the province to attend school by giving them a monthly allowance.
The U.K. Department of International Development will lead the program with the support of the Australian Agency for International Development, which is providing 6.87 million for the initiative.
“Pakistan is facing an education emergency. The facts are shocking. Half the adult population – and two thirds of women - are illiterate,” Mitchell said in Peshawar, the provincial capital. “DFID is committed to supporting the Government of Pakistan in achieving its education goals and speeding up progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.”