US may increase education funding for PakistanSo, not only Norwegians are doing this:
US may increase education funding for Pakistan
The United States is likely to increase its assistance of Pakistan’s education program next year, Thomas P Crehan, education officer at the USAID Pakistan, said on Wednesday. He was talking to reporters after the distribution of the School Improvement Grants (SIGs) to federal government primary schools in Bara Kahu. He said through USAID alone, the US was providing more than $1.5 billion in assistance to Pakistan. He added that US government’s assistance in the education sector alone was approximately $68 million this year. Earlier, addressing the ceremony, he said Education Sector Reforms Assistance (ESRA) was the largest US-funded project in Pakistan at $71.5 million and was working in 12 districts in Sindh and Balochistan as well as in Bara Kahu He said the programme had adopted a novel approach to harness the potential of the young in initiatives such as interactive instruction for teaching English language. He observed that information technology had assumed an immense significance in the present era and was affecting the teaching and learning processes like never before.
Pakistan’s crackdown on extremism: Much drama, few results
Pakistan’s campaign against homegrown religious extremism as been described in a report published on Tuesday as ”considerable drama, few results.” The Islamabad-datelined report in USA Today does note though that President Pervez Musharraf has taken “huge risks” to hunt down al-Qaeda fugitives, sending thousands of troops to battle militants along the border with Afghanistan, “but his government has been reluctant to go after its former allies: the Taliban in Afghanistan and groups that have fought a proxy war against Indian troops in disputed Kashmir. It also has been slow to crack down on madrassas that teach intolerance and glorify jihad, or holy war. As a result, Pakistan is still turning out young militants burning to kill and die for their extreme interpretations of Islam.” A recent upsurge in Taliban attacks on US troops in Afghanistan near the Pakistani border is “raising questions about the degree to which the militants are receiving sanctuary, training and supplies inside Pakistan. There also is concern that the militants might be getting support from rogue elements of Musharraf’s own security services.”
PM’s 3-point plan to stem population growth rate
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said on Wednesday a check on population growth was necessary to trickle down the fruits of economy growth to the common man. Federal Population Secretary Shahzad Sheikh said the government was trying to reduce the population growth from 1.9 per cent to 1.3 per cent by 2010. He warned if the population continued to grow at the current pace, it might touch 437 million by 2060. Sheikh said every year 4.2 million people were born in the country while 1.32 million died, resulting in an increase in population by 2.9 million people. “This translates into an increase of five people per minute,” he added. The secretary said the total fertility rate had decreased from 6.3 per women in 1975 to 4 per women. He said 35.5 million people were living below the poverty line; 56.9 million had no access to safe drinking water; 57.9 million were living in one-room houses while 78.2 million were deprived of sanitation facilities.