On the current situation in Pakistan, yesterday's NYT had an excellent op-ed piece by Nicholas Kristoff about education efforts in Pakistan's tribal areas. Here is his video report (it gives a nice idea of the schools) and here is the part of the column that focuses on education:
What an excellent effort by DIL. Read the full article here and here is the website of DIL.
Fourth, let’s focus on education. One reason the country is such a mess today is that half of all Pakistanis are illiterate.
In the southern Punjab a couple of days ago, I dropped in on a rural elementary school where only one teacher had bothered to show up that day. He was teaching the entire student body under a tree, in part because the school doesn’t have desks for the first three grades.
One happy note: I visited a school run by a California-based aid group, Developments in Literacy, which represents a successful American effort to fight extremism. DIL is financed largely by Pakistani-Americans trying to “give back,” and it runs 150 schools in rural Pakistan, teaching girls in particular.
Tauseef Hyat, the Islamabad-based executive director of DIL, notes that originally the plan was to operate just primary schools, but then a group of 11-year-old girls threatened to go on hunger strike unless DIL helped them continue their education in high school. Ms. Hyat caved, and some of those girls are now studying to become doctors.Mr. Obama should make his first presidential trip to Pakistan — and stop at a DIL school to remind Pakistan’s army and elites that their greatest enemy isn’t India but illiteracy.