Karachi: Aman Foundation, Harvard South Asia Initiative and the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP) presented their latest collaborative project which will facilitate low cost, quality education for the poor of Pakistan.
The event, held at IBA Karachi, featured a presentation by Professor Asim Khwaja entitled “Investing in the Education Market: Strengthening Private Schools for the Poor”, followed by a panel discussion with experts from pertinent institutional affiliations. Panelists included Mr. Nadeem Hussain, President & CEO Tameer Microfinance Bank, Prof. Asim Khwaja from the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP) and Harvard South Asia Initiative, Mr. Aziz Kabani from Sindh Education Foundation and Mr. Ahsan Jamil, CEO Aman Foundation. The discussion was moderated by Ms. Khadija Bakhtiar from Teach for Pakistan.
The extensive education program will offer financial and managerial support to small private schools, taking flight with a pilot project across 1,000 schools with 200,000 students. Such support will specifically aid in the cyclical development of female entrepreneurs. The project is premised on research results by the LEAPS study showing low cost private schools outperforming government educational systems. CERP and Tameer Bank are working together with the help of Aman Foundation to make this microfinance intervention and education research possible.
At the event, Aman Foundation CEO Mr. Ahsan Jamil said, “Aman Foundation is committed to creating a knowledge-based society and seeks to build alliances to this end. This is driven by the belief that women’s empowerment is fundamental for society to make real progress.” Meena Hewett, Associate Director of Harvard South Asia Initiative (SAI), was a special guest at the event. She spoke to the programs SAI had already initiated in Pakistan, and expressed enthusiasm for additional future collaboration and continued engagement in the region.
The collaboration potential of this project is commendable with each sponsoring organization brining unique strengths. Aman Foundation is a local, not-for-profit, organization which believes in the cause of human development via strategic interventions in Pakistan, including educational infrastructure to empower youth. South Asia Initiative at Harvard University is an interfaculty, cross-discipline research center that seeks to engage students and faculty through interdisciplinary programs that advance and deepen the teaching and research on global issues relevant to South Asia. The strategic objective of the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP) is to inform policy and practice by filling socio-economic research gaps in Pakistan. In doing so CERP hopes to promote evidence-based decision making by actors working towards the social and economic development in the country.