Dragon James Caan supports 250 million
Dragon James Caan supports 250 million UK aid education initiative in Pakistan
James Caan, British entrepreneur and BBC TV Dragons Den celebrity, is visiting Pakistan to explore ways in which he can apply his extensive business experience to improve Pakistan's education system.
During his stay he will find out how the UK is working with the Pakistani Government to improve the quality of education and ensure that all children in Pakistan have the chance to get in to school.
Caan will be in Pakistan from 20 February and will have discussions with representatives from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to learn more about how its 250 million UK aid programme is supporting education in the country. He will learn about DFID's planned programmes in the Punjab, including how DFID is working with the World Bank to strengthen teacher recruitment, improve school infrastructure and work with the private sector to improve school management. The programme will help five million more children attend school and give 500,000 young people the skills they need to get jobs.
"I believe that every child has a right to education. Giving people a chance in life and schooling is at the heart of fighting poverty and maintaining security in Pakistan, comments Caan. "This programme will deliver the benefit of education to millions of children, in turn equipping them with the knowledge and skills to work, providing a much-needed long-term boost to the Pakistan economy. Nothing could be more important than giving the younger generation of Pakistan this opportunity, with the numerous challenges the country is currently facing. I am delighted to be involved with this initiative and to have the opportunity of giving something back.
Half of the population of Pakistan is illiterate, with six million children of school age currently not attending school. Education in Pakistan is a particular passion for Caan, who was born in Lahore and is proud to have been able to fund the construction and running of his own school in his home town, which hundreds of local children can attend for free.
"With nearly half of all children still not receiving an education, there's a huge challenge ahead," comments George Turkington, Head of DFID's country office in Pakistan. "Education is a top priority of the UK's aid programme in Pakistan and it will soon be one of our biggest worldwide. We can't afford to let Pakistan's children down. Turning these appalling indicators around can get Pakistan back on track to meeting the Millennium Development Goal on universal primary education. And, by tackling deprivation and exclusion, education can help to address grievances that can fuel extremism. We welcome James Caan's support and look forward to investing in a better future for Pakistan's children."