U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Praises the ED-LINKS Education Project Aimed at Building a Stronger Pakistan

U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter met with officials and residents of communities in FATA and Malakand, Pakistan, on July 26, 2011, to celebrate the accomplishments of the “Links to Learning: Education Support to Pakistan” (ED-LINKS) project, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and operated by AIR. The program assisted more than 450,000 students in over 700 schools in the region during the past three years.

The ED-LINKS project collaborated with the Pakistan Ministry of Education and the Aga Khan University to improve teacher education and professional development, student learning and the learning environment, and the capacity of the government to sustain quality education in Pakistan. It worked closely with government teacher training institutions to identify needs and enables the institutions to implement trainings that improve both content knowledge and pedagogical techniques of middle and secondary teachers. It also addressed the needs of internally displaced persons in the FATA region in 2009 through the establishment of temporary “tent” schools, and assistance to flood affected schools in 2011.

"Our shared efforts to improve education in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and FATA are a symbol of Pakistani and U.S. friendship. More important, our work will build a better tomorrow for future generations of Pakistanis," said Ambassador Munter, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Sardar Babak Hussain, the education minister for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said, "There could be no better way to help Pashtuns than to help our children get a better education."

USAID has asked ED-LINKS to extend its work in Malakand to include an additional 20 schools. The project will also renovate and provide equipment to an additional 500 schools in the Balochistan and Sindh Provinces, which were damaged by disastrous flooding in 2010. The project will continue until June 2012.
More information on the ED-LINKS program is available on the AIR website.