Elected public representatives at the local government level from across the province were urged to serve as `Goodwill Ambassadors’ for the promotion of girls’ education in the province. “Those personalities who have been honored by their respective communities to serve as leaders should also concentrate on the promotion of girls’ education in their respective areas,” they were told during a Provincial Local Government Summit on Girls Education. The summit was organized by Blue Veins in collaboration with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), the Child Protection and Welfare Commission, and Education Champion Network Pakistan (PECN). Provincial Caretaker Minister for Local Government, Amir Durrani, Mayor Charsadda District, Mufti Abdul Shakoor, elected representatives, employees of the LG department, and people from different walks of life attended the summit. Welcoming the participants, Qamar Naseem, Programme Manager Blue Vein, presented the dismal plight of girls’ education in KP and urged the elected representatives to serve as ‘watchdogs’ on the implementation of government policies regarding education promotion in their respective areas. Qamar said in KP, “A staggering number of around 4.7 million children are out of school, out of which 74.4 percent are girls and 26 percent are boys.” “In the newly merged districts (NMDs), the percentage of out-of-school girls is around 90 percent, an astounding figure in regard to the development of the area and country.” He said, “For bringing all out-of-school children into educational institutions, the province needs to construct around 15000 schools, which is impossible considering the meager financial resources, time, and cost of construction.” Qamar said, “If the province has enough funds for the construction of new schools, only 300 schools can be constructed in a year, and the target of 15000 new schools can be achieved in around 100 years.” He said, “We have to adopt a holistic approach to bringing all these out-of-school children to the primary, middle, and secondary levels by utilizing our resources at optimal levels and ensuring proper implementation of policies by local government representatives.” He also suggested replicating the policy of public-private partnership being introduced in Sindh province for the enrolment of out-of-school children. The annual spending of the government on each child should be paid to private schools over the condition of providing free education to them, Qamar added. Qamar also appreciated the efforts made by the KP Education Department to reserve 70 percent of its annual budget for girls’ education. However, he continued, “A lot of measures are needed to be taken by the government, private organizations, stakeholders, and CSOs for the promotion of girls’ education in the province in particular and the country in general.” Former Nazim of Hayatabad Township, Nawab Khan, highlighted the roles and resources of local government representatives. He said, “According to the law, the LG representatives are entrusted with a lot of authority and resources, but on the ground, the situation is the opposite.” He agreed, “Nazims and councilors can play a very effective role in the promotion of education, especially for girls, in the province.” Intizar Ali Khalil, Chairman, Capital Metropolitan City Government Peshawar, made a presentation on local bodies as implementing bodies of government programs and initiatives in relation to education. Seemab Ishaq, a PhD scholar at the Institute of Education and Research Peshawar University, apprised participants about the required synergies, resources, and stakeholder engagement for strengthening the effective role of local government in promoting girls’ education. Mayor Charsadda, Mufti Abdul Shakoor, spoke about the measures being taken in his district to promote girls education. Mufti Shakoor informed participants, “The promotion of girls education is not only a social but also a religious responsibility, and every individual has to play his role in this regard.” Provincial Caretaker Minister Amir Durrani, said, “Government is giving due attention to girls challenges. He said there is no doubt that girls’ education is a big challenge, but the government is providing maximum funds for the education sector.” “The share of education is at the second level after spending on the health sector, which is getting the maximum number of funds,” he added. Amir Durrani held out assurance at the summit that his department will treat girls’ education as a priority subject and utilize maximum resources for attainment of this goal.