Another brick in the wall?


In a country suffering from illiteracy and the lack of a reliable education infrastructure, projects furthering the cause of education in Pakistan are welcome initiatives. Aman Foundation, Harvard South Asia Initiative and the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP) on Tuesday presented their latest collaborative project which will facilitate low-cost, quality education for the poor in Pakistan. The event, held at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), featured a presentation by CERP and Harvard South Asia Initiative’s Professor Asim Khwaja titled “Investing in the Education Market: Strengthening Private Schools for the Poor”, followed by a panel discussion with experts from pertinent institutional affiliations. Other panellists included Tameer Microfinance Bank President and CEO Nadeem Hussain, Sindh Education Foundation’s Aziz Kabani and Aman Foundation CEO Ahsan J amil. The extensive education programme will offer financial and managerial support to small private schools, beginning with a pilot project across 1,000 schools with 200,000 students. Such support will specifically aid the cyclical development of female entrepreneurs. The project is premised on the research results of a study by Learning and Educational Achievement in Pakistan Schools (LEAPS) which showed that low-cost private schools outperformed government educational systems. CERP and Tameer Bank are working together with the help of Aman Foundation to make this microfinance intervention and education research possible.