Aga Khan University and UNICEF join forces to transform Primary Education in Balochistan

In a major step towards enhancing primary education in Balochistan, the Aga Khan University’s Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED) has forged a groundbreaking partnership with the Education Department of the Government of Balochistan and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

This collaborative effort, funded by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and the European Union (EU), aims to bolster the capacity of curriculum, textbook, and teacher training bodies in the province.

Under the terms of the agreement, AKU-IED will provide technical assistance and work closely with various technical subsections of the Education Department, including the Bureau of Curriculum, Balochistan Textbook Board, Provincial Institute of Teacher Education, Directorate of Education (Schools), and Balochistan Examination and Assessment Commission.

AKU President Dr Sulaiman Shahabuddin emphasized the commitment of the institution to providing high-quality education. He said Aga Khan has “always focused on providing the highest quality of education to equip children with the skills and knowledge needed to bring about positive change in the world they live in,” he said. “This project is another great example of our collaboration with the public sector to strengthen the education system and ensure that all children have access to quality education.”

Focus on strengthening learning design

The primary focus of the project includes strengthening learning design at the primary level with an emphasis on foundation literacy and numeracy. Additionally, the initiative aims to develop the capacity of over 300 master trainers, as well as Mathematics, Science, and English content specialists for Grades 6-8.

Furthermore, 50 authors and reviewers will be trained for the preparation and review of textbooks, and an ICT infrastructure will be developed to support online training initiatives.

AKU-IED Dean and Professor Farid Panjwani expressed excitement about the collaboration, stating, “We are excited to partner with UNICEF, the GPE, and the Government of Balochistan on this important project. Through our combined efforts, we can ensure that children have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in school and in life.”

In a bid to infuse global best practices into Balochistan’s curriculum, AKU-IED will collaborate with Finnish Global Education Solutions. This partnership aims to bring the excellence of the Finnish educational system to the classrooms of Balochistan by focusing on developing frameworks for school functions and structures, professional knowledge building, and practical pedagogical work.

Hamid Baqi, Education Officer at UNICEF, emphasized the potential impact of the project, stating, “There are critical challenges in delivering the curriculum at the classroom level, and the true potential of children is not realized. We are hoping that this project will enhance capacities of teachers to contribute to the educational development of Balochistan. It is an opportunity for us all to further build on the quality of education.”

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