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up7EPR7v
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Answer
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VamAT6cc
answer has answering person
Michael Bates
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<p>The UK Government remains firmly committed to promoting and protecting the right to freedom of religion or belief, as set out in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We are concerned about reports of abuses against religious minorities in Pakistan. The annual report of US Commission on International Religious Freedom identified ‘discriminatory’ content against minorities in provincial textbooks in Pakistan as a particular concern but did not note the progress made where DFID is providing provincial governments with support.</p><p>Since 2011, UK aid has benefited more than 6.8 million children in primary school education. The programme is an £800 million investment from 2011 to 2020 undertaken in partnership with the provincial governments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and focussed on the poorest, especially girls. Our investments support improving access to education and raising quality, improving learning outcomes, increasing teacher and student attendance and improving school facilities. We are providing £420.5 million from 2013 to 2019 to the Punjab Education Support Programme II, working with the provincial government to ensure more children in Punjab have access to a good quality education.</p><p>The UK has worked alongside these two provincial governments including through supporting the Punjab Curriculum Textbook Board which have taken significant steps to update textbooks and replace any content that promotes prejudice and discrimination against religious or other minorities. Independent evaluations in 2007 and 2013 confirmed this curriculum to be based on values of democracy, pluralism and peace aimed at educating students to be able to think critically about these issues. This has included introducing girls as central characters, showing girls participating in stereotypically male roles, and making the illustrations more representative. They have also worked to remove any overt bigotry linked to minority groups and continue to consider these issues.</p><p>The pilot Education Fund for Sindh (EFS) programme came to an end in 2016. The new Sindh Education Non State Actors (SENSA) Programme is following on from EFS. School providers in both EFS and now SENSA follow the 2006 Pakistan national curriculum. Independent evaluations of the reformed curriculum have confirmed it to be based on values of democracy, pluralism, and peace. All textbooks which enter into schools have to be approved by the provincial government, in this case the Sindh Textbook Board, to ensure they meet the requirements of the 2006 National Curriculum. This is a legal requirement.</p>
answer given date
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Department for International Development
written answer has answering body
Department for International Development
Department for International Development
answering body has written answer
up7EPR7v
answering body has answer
up7EPR7v
VamAT6cc
question has answer
up7EPR7v
Michael Bates
answering person has answer
up7EPR7v