South and Central Asian Affairs Bureau
March 4, 2006
United States - Pakistan Cooperation on Education
The Governments of the United States and Pakistan announce the initiation of a high-level dialogue on education. The dialogue will encompass the entire range of subjects related to education at all levels and seek to enhance bilateral cooperation with a view to expanding education opportunities for the people of Pakistan. The dialogue would also enhance cooperation in public education reform process and introduce officials and educators of Pakistan to the most up to date American educational institutions with the view to improve the quality of education in Pakistan. The dialogue would facilitate cooperative activities, build linkages between academic and research institutions, and promote student and faculty exchanges.
Commitment of the United States to Education in Pakistan:
The United States and Pakistan are working together very closely to strengthen education in Pakistan and to broaden the mutual understanding of our peoples. Strengthening education at all levels has been a priority of the U.S. assistance program for Pakistan. Total U.S. spending in support of both basic and higher education in Pakistan between 2002 and 2007 is $265 million ( $178 million for basic education and $87 million for higher education). Last year, the United States provided $66 million to help improve Pakistani education, especially in the least developed regions of the country.
U.S. support for Pakistanís educational system through the Agency for International Development includes major efforts to train teachers and school administrators (about $14.45 million); improve schools and raise adult literacy ($20 million); promote basic education especially at the primary level ($2.4 million); provide policy and planning support to the Government of Pakistan ($9 million); and invest in higher education and human capital ($20 million). In addition, as part of the response by the United States to the South Asian earthquake of October 2005, funds will have been obligated to reconstruct, furnish, and equip damage public primary and middle schools and facilities.
During President Bushís visit to Pakistan, the following educational initiatives were announced:
- Increase in Total Education Spending: U.S.- funded programs for education in Pakistan will increase to nearly $100 million a year for the next five years.
- Center for Entrepreneurship: A feasibility study will be conducted for this center, to be located at the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi. This center will work with local and business institutions to develop modern business education in Pakistan.
- National Language Initiative: Recognizing the importance of language in strengthening mutual understanding, the U.S. plans to broaden the number of Americans who speak Urdu and other Pakistani languages. Twelve Fulbright-funded Pakistani instructors will be recruited to teach Urdu and other Pakistani languages at U.S. institutions for a year. The State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs will provide funding ($216,000 per annum) to initiate the multi-year engagement. This initiative is intended to be a step toward the goal of establishing an Urdu language studies program in Pakistan for U.S. student.
- Initiative to Support Science and Technology Education: In support of the development of Pakistanís science and technology educational goals, which includes establishing the Pakistan Institute of Advanced Technology, the U.S. Department of State will support professional and academic exchanges. The U.S. Department of State will also support an initial linkage agreement between departments at U.S. universities with existing "Centers of Excellence" selected by Pakistanís Higher Education Commission.
- Fulbright Program: By the end of this year, Pakistanís Fulbright Scholarship Program will become the largest in the world measured by USG financial contribution, and represent a major U.S. investment in Pakistanís future. The Fulbright program in Pakistan will send up to 100 Masterís Degree students and 50 Ph.D. candidates per year to study in the U.S. Combined US/GOP funding for the program will be $154 million over five years.
- Southern Methodist University Exchange: Under a special exchange program to facilitate mutual understanding at the highest levels of law and government, the United States will invite high-level parliamentarians, judges and political leaders to Washington and Southern Methodist Universityís Dedman School of Law for consultations and discussions.
- Food for Education: The U.S. Department of Agriculture contributes $7.6 million to the World Food Program to supply cooking oil to female students in order to encourage their school attendance.
- Cochran Fellowship Program: The U.S. Department of Agriculture will continue to offer short-term agricultural training in the U.S. to nine senior and mid-level agricultural specialists and administrators to improve productivity, trade capacity, and enhance trade links with the U.S.
- Borlaug Fellowship Program: For the first time the U.S. Department of Agriculture will offer four select Pakistani scientists the opportunity to study and develop linkages with their counterparts at major U.S. agricultural faculties with the view to improving Pakistanís agricultural productivity.