William and Kate visit school for disadvantaged girls in Islamabad
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge began their first full day of engagements in Pakistan by learning about education for girls.
William and Kate’s first stop on Tuesday was a government-run school in the capital, Islamabad, which educates girls between the ages of four and 18.
Both sat with children in a pre-school class during the visit to the school, which is for the most disadvantaged in the area.
UK aid has helped more than 5.5 million girls get a quality education since 2011, according to the British High Commission.
The royal couple were due to learn more about how students are benefiting from the Teach For Pakistan programme, a fast-track teacher training scheme modelled on the UK’s successful Teach First.
Area education officer Mohammed Sohailkhan told reporters that the quality of education – particularly for girls – varies across the country.
“In recent years there has been gradual progress in understanding how important education is for girls and young women,” he said.
“There is a realisation of what it can mean in terms of jobs and prospects.
“I can’t paint you an entirely rosy picture. It does still fluctuate wildly, particularly in rural regions, where there has traditionally been cultural barriers towards this, notably in terms of sending girls away to college.
“But these barriers are slowly being broken down.”
Kate opted for a royal blue kurta, a traditional long shift blouse over trousers, for the visit, while William wore a light blue shirt and dark trousers.
Continuing the theme of education, the couple will later join children from three local schools in the Margalla Hills, which sit in the foothills of the Himalayas.
William and Kate are also due to have lunch with Prime Minister Imran Khan and attend a special reception at the National Monument in their first full day of engagements.
The couple arrived in the Commonwealth country on Monday evening for their official five-day visit.