A financial program to help Pakistan's 6.7 million out-of-school children get an education was announced on Saturday by the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown.
The 500 million U.S. dollars boost for education will bring the total global investment in education in Pakistan to more than 1 billion dollars over the next three years.
Brown, the former British prime minister, pledged that as Pakistan's government doubles its education budget -- from 2 to 4 percent of GDP -- the global community will partner with Pakistan in financing the biggest education expansion in the country's history.
The government's commitment will inject an additional 4.6 billion dollars annually into the education system. When implemented, the project could exceed the targets in Pakistan's Accelerated Plan of Action, developed with the United Nations, which aims to educate 5 million out-of-school children by 2015.
The announcement was made at an education conference in Islamabad.
Brown said"The aim is not just to get children into school but also to ensure learning opportunities for more than 55 million people over the age of 10 who are illiterate in Pakistan."
"The large expansion of learning through the government's investment will help to support opportunity for the Pakistani people."
The United Nations special envoy encouraged the government to support the right to education, saying "the government must also take a strong stand on the cross-cutting barriers, including child labor and child marriage, to ensure all children, especially girls, are in school."
Also speaking at the conference, Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said his government is focusing on promotion of education among the women.
"I feel that our education policy must prioritize female education in order to close the gender gap. We also need to ensure effective participation of women in the decision-making process and to protect their respect and dignity," he said.
Earlier in a meeting with Brown, Sharif said that currently literacy rate in Pakistan is 58 percent overall, but this is skewed towards males. "Our effort is to bridge the gender gap