As CEOs and corporate executives met in Islamabad this past weekend to determine how business can play a greater role in supporting education, the Global Business Coalition for Education (GBC-Education) announced a Pakistan Working Group. The meeting, organized by Baela Jamil of Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) and the Ministry of Education, brought Pakistani business leaders together with UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown, the Governor of Punjab Muhammad Sarwar, the Federal Minister of Education Muhammad Baligh ur Rehman, Global Partnership for Education CEO Alice Albright, the Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce from Balochistan, NGOs and GBC-Education advisory board members.
Pakistan, home to over 6.7 million out-of-school children and 55 million people over the age of 10 who are unable to read, has tremendous progress to make if it is to meet the UN Millennium Development Goal of getting every child into school and learning. But this weekend’s announcements, the international community’s continued support for education and the government’s doubling of GDP for education will now inject billions of dollars into developing the talent and creating opportunities for children and youth.
The business community discussed how they could focus their efforts on delivering tangible results for children and young people in Pakistan. In addition to collaborating on core business and social investment projects, the business leaders discussed key areas of national policy where they could play a catalytic role, including social impact bonds, tax incentives for education investment and harnessing diaspora communities.
Nestlé Pakistan joined Habib Bank Limited in announcing gold membership in GBC-Education. Zameen.com, a leading property portal in Pakistan, Latitude Corporate Relations Solutions, Oxford University Press Pakistan and the Hashwani Group of Companies are four of the newest organizations to join the #smartinvestment Network, a community of companies brought together by GBC-Education to learn about best practices for corporate engagement in education.
The meetings in Pakistan took place on the sidelines of an education conference featuring Prime Minister Sharif focused on accelerating progress to get all children into school and learning.