London: The Pakistan High Commission in London hosted a dinner reception in honour of the visiting delegation attending Education World Forum (EWF) in London, on 25 January 2017. Those in attendance included Raja Muhammad Farooq Haider Khan, Prime Minister Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Engr. Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman, Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training, Ms Raheela Durrani, Speaker Baluchistan Assembly, education ministers from Baluchistan, Punjab, Sindh, AJ&K, and Gilgit-Baltistan, together with the senior government officials. Lord Qurban Hussain, Khalid Mahmood MP, Rehman Chishti MP, senior officials of the British Council and representatives of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) also attended the dinner.
In his welcome remarks, H.E. Syed Ibne Abbas, Pakistani High Commissioner to the UK said: “I appreciate the British Government and its bodies including, British Council, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and Department for International Development (DFID), for inviting the Pakistan delegation to the Education World Forum (EWF), in London. I am confident that the Forum will provide an excellent platform to the delegates to benefit from the best practices in the field of education.”
He further added that “2017, carries a special significance for Pakistan, as it marks the 70th Anniversary of the Independence of Pakistan, establishment of the diplomatic ties between Pakistan and the UK and also completes 70 years of the British Council presence in Pakistan. British Council is making valuable contribution in socio-cultural and educational fields thus, helping to create better understanding between our two nations.”
On this occasion, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Government of Balochistan and the British Council Pakistan. Under the MoU, the British Council Pakistan will act as a catalyst to improve education in the province by creating linkages and exchange of best practices between education departments of Balochistan and UK institutions. The British Council will also provide technical support to these departments and look into providing examination services in the province.
In his remarks, Prime Minister AJ&K thanked the British Council for affording the opportunity to Pakistan delegation to attend the EWF in London. He said education is a priority of his government and collaboration with the British Council would give an added impetus to their efforts to promote education.
Besides, the Prime Minister said a strong and democratic Pakistan would be better placed to help Kashmiri people in getting their right to self determination. He also emphasized on continuity of democracy.
The Prime Minister commended the efforts of the High Commissioner for being constantly in touch with the vibrant Pakistani community.
Engr. Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman, who also spoke on the occasion, gave an overview of the education sector and federal governmentâ€™s efforts to enrol out-of-school children. The Minister said that although education has become a provincial subject after the passing of 18th Amendment, yet the federal government was assisting the provincial governments in upgrading the system and standards of education. He also updated the attendees about Pakistanâ€™s successful fight against extremism and terrorism as well as economic turnaround in the country.
Ms Raheela Durrani, Speaker Baluchistan Assembly, in her remarks placed emphasis on building more effective and deeper relationship between Pakistan and the UK in the sphere of education. She said signing of MoU between Balochistan government and the British Council would greatly help the students of Balochistan. The Speaker also invited the British parliamentarians and the representatives of the British Council to Balochistan. Speaking about China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), she said the project would open a door of opportunity not only for our country but for the world at large.
During her speech Rosemary Hilhorst, Country Directory of British Council Pakistan said:
“The British Council has been working in Pakistan since its independence in 1947 and enjoys a strong association with its people. Throughout 2017, we will be celebrating our 70 years in Pakistan alongside the people of Pakistan. The British Council aims to build a friendly knowledge, understanding and trust between people from the UK and other countries. We look forward to a shared future together.”
2017 is a landmark year for Pakistan and for the British Council working in Pakistan. The British Council is celebrating “70 years in Pakistan” alongside the British High Commission in Pakistan and the Pakistan High Commission in the UK.
The three-day Education World Forum which took place from 22 - 25 January 2017 is a forum that enables ministers and senior advisers from about the world to debate the future of education policy. The EWF theme for 2017 was teaching, testing, talent and technology; issues around the key thematic areas were explored in a series of keynote debates, ministerial exchanges and plenary sessions that brought together experts, educators and policy makers.
January 25, 2017
Last updated: January 26, 2017