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Capacity Building Workshop for Education Officials - UNESCO and Government of Pakistan's Girls' Right to Education Programme in Pakistan

Islamabad 24-28 April 2017: As part of the Girls' Right to Education Program (GREP),UNESCO Islamabad, organized five-day Capacity Development workshop for government officials working in the project districts. 27 government officials (District education officers, assistant education officers and GREP focal persons)from all provinces and areas attended the workshop.

The purpose of the workshop wasto raise awareness and better understanding of the project objectives among government officials.The workshop consisted of technicalpresentations, interactive discussions and group exercises.The participants through the workshop, acquiredthe concepts and knowledge on girls' education, decentralization, community mobilization educational leadership and management, monitoring and supervision.

To promote girls' education among the communities and relevant local education stakeholders, the workshop included some critical topics such asgender mainstreaming in education, making schools more accountable, role and responsibilities of school management committees (SMC) and role of district education officers in a decentralized context.

Other key topics such as Activity Based Learning (ABL) and Multi-grade Teaching (MGT) methodologies as an integral part of the programme and effective ways of students' learning were also introduced during the workshop to build participants' understanding of these concepts and ensure their support for implementation of such teaching methodologies in the schools.

Speaking at the inaugural session, Ms. Vibeke Jensen, UNESCO Representative to Pakistan welcomed the participants to Islamabad and invited them to be active participants in the work shop. Ms. Jensen said that "the GREP programme is serving the most disadvantaged population of the country, where issues such as socio-economic condition of the families, cultural norms and traditions, poor status of basic facilities in schools, parents' attitudes towards girls' education, disturbing security situation and lack of quality education in the school, all act as hurdles and severely limits girls' access to education". She further stressed that Girls' Right to Education Program is unique since it addresses both demand and supply side at the same time. To address the complex set of factors hampering girls' education in these marginalized districts the contribution of all stakeholders: parents, teachers, students, district officials and community members is key. She invited the participants to reflect on how they can help facilitate such stakeholder processes.

Mr. Muhammad Rafique Tahir, Joint Educational Advisor, Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training (MoFE&PT) in his welcome remarks appreciated the participation of provinces and areas in the workshop. He requested the participants to play an effective role in monitoring and supervision of the GREP in their respective areas. He suggested that officials shouldallocate an hour every day to support the implementation of the programme. He further told the participants "it is your programme, you should own it and control its pulse, go along with it, if we want to bring change through this programme", emphasizing the role and need for active and effective participation of these officers at district level.