Italian ambassador starts radio education for out-of-school children in Pakistan

Collaboration with UNESCO includes projects enrolling 6,570 girls, training 457 teachers in innovative methods

APP June 25, 2024
Photo: APP


The Italian Ambassador to Pakistan, Marilina Armellin, has taken the initiative to educate out-of-school children in Pakistan through Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI). 

She has initiated a programme to highlight the benefits of enrolment and education through radio broadcasts. This initiative will also help in sharing practical information on sustainable development practices for schools. 

In an interview with APP on Monday, the ambassador disclosed that a groundbreaking IRI initiative is set to unfold next month, poised to redefine access to learning for millions of out-of-school children.

Italy, in collaboration with local partners and supported by UNESCO, will launch a pioneering “Radio Education” programme to bridge educational gaps and empower underprivileged communities across Pakistan.

Pakistan faces significant challenges with a 62% literacy rate and substantial disparities in educational access. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s recent “Education Emergency” pledges a comprehensive effort to integrate millions of out-of-school children into the educational fold.

This initiative underscores a pivotal moment in Pakistan’s quest for inclusive education and economic progress.

Responding to a question, Marilina highlighted the crucial roles of government, teachers, and parents in fostering a robust educational ecosystem. 

She noted that Italy, with its rich educational heritage, supports Pakistan through UNESCO-backed projects like radio education in remote areas.

The project aims not only to promote learning but also to empower communities to embrace sustainable practices, enhancing resilience against environmental challenges. 

Beyond education, Italy and Pakistan are exploring economic synergies. With burgeoning trade ties and shared interests in agriculture, energy, and tourism, both nations seek to capitalise on their respective strengths.

The potential for direct flights between Milan and Lahore to cater to the vibrant Pakistani diaspora in Italy signals a promising future for bilateral connectivity and cultural exchange.

As Pakistan navigates its educational landscape and economic aspirations, collaboration with Italy stands as a beacon of hope and opportunity. 

Through concerted efforts and shared visions, both nations strive towards a future where education serves as a cornerstone of societal prosperity and inclusive growth.

The ambassador stated that Italy’s support in Pakistan is making a significant difference through diverse projects aimed at education and environmental sustainability. 

She highlighted her country’s efforts, including the Pakistan-Italy Debt Swap Agreement funding 48 projects nationwide. “In Gilgit-Baltistan, they’re aiding environmental strategies and promoting eco-tourism,” she added.

The ambassador stated their collaboration with UNESCO includes projects like “Support to Girls’ Right of Education,” enrolling 6,570 girls and training 457 teachers in innovative methods.

The upcoming “Radio Education” project will use Interactive Radio Instruction to enhance after-school education and community resilience, she added.

Marilina emphasised the role of literacy in empowering individuals and improving socio-economic outcomes. 

“Italy’s commitment underscores the impact of international cooperation in Pakistan, fostering a more equitable future through education and sustainable development,” she remarked.


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