United States Empowers Future Teachers through University Scholarships

Islamabad, May 8, 2014 – Today the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded scholarships to 26 students enrolled in undergraduate degree programs at the International Islamic University (IIU) in Islamabad as part of the $165 million Pakistan Reading Project. The scholarships will pay for tuition and supplies as well as provide a stipend to recipients. The U.S. Government will provide more than 4,500 scholarships to aspiring teachers.

While addressing the students, USAID Mission Director Gregory Gottlieb said, “No matter how many schools or libraries we build or facilities we provide, none of it will matter until we invest in improving the quality of teachers. Keeping this in mind, I am pleased to note that the USAID funded Pakistan Reading Project is working to do just that. The Project is another significant initiative of the U.S. Government in collaboration with the Government of Pakistan to improve the standard of basic education.”

This is the first group of IIU students to receive scholarships from the Pakistan Reading Project – a $165 million USAID program that will improve the reading skills of at least 2.5 million children to ensure that they are reading at or above grade level by 2019. The Project works closely with 28 Pakistani universities and 116 elementary teacher training colleges like IIU throughout Pakistan to improve the quality of teaching skills and curriculum.

The U.S. partnership with the Government of Pakistan supports the rehabilitation and construction of over 1,350 schools in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu & Kashmir and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. The United States is also establishing centers for advanced education studies at four Pakistani universities and expanding English skills for more than 5,000 low-income students. The United States has awarded more than 4,800 scholarships to university students to pursue higher education through the Pakistan-USAID Merit and Needs Based Scholarship Program.

For more information on the U.S. assistance for education in Pakistan, visit:http://1.usa.gov/Mr1uR4

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