Malala Yousufzai education wing at Pakistan consulate closes after “not a single student in four years”

Malala Yousafzai at the 23rd Annual Glamour Women of the Year Awards hosted by Glamour Magazine in New York

An education advisory service which was set up at the Pakistan consulate in Birmingham when Malala Yousufzai arrived in the city, is closing down because not a single student required its help in four years.

Malala Yousufzai rose to global fame after she survived a bullet wound in her head by the Pakistani Taliban.

The Noble Peace prize winner moved to Birmingham in 2013 after the Pakistan Consulate in offered her father a position as the education attache for a newly created “Education Wing” at its city centre base.

However, in a bid to save public money, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to close the Education Wing which opened four years ago.

All the education services have now been moved to its London headquarters.

A source at the consulate, who wishes to remain anonymous told the Birmingham Mail: “There was no need for an education wing and, historically, Birmingham never had a post of education attache.

“The Education Wing was opened basically to facilitate medical treatment of Malala in Birmingham and to this end her father Ziauddin Yousafzai was appointed as education attache.

“But in the four years since the establishment of this wing not a single student has approached us for any kind of help or assistance.

“Hundreds of thousands of pounds has been wasted in the name of student counselling that not a single student has accessed.”

The source confirmed that Mr Yousufzai’s employment contract as education attache expired on 11 April 2017.

Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry stated that the closure was based on financial grounds – the education wing was a “drain on public money” with no prospective benefit.

It is believed that the monthly expenditure on its maintenance was around £15,000 with “no utility or value for the public money.”

The Ministry said: “Since April 2013, there hasn’t been a single student-related case requiring any kind of help or assistance from the wing or, for that matter, the Birmingham consulate. For the entire West Midlands and Wales catchment area there are fewer than 100 students, so the actual number is almost negligible.

“There are two other consulates besides Birmingham – in Bangladesh and India – and neither of them has ever had an education wing.”

The Education Wing had acted as a bridge between Pakistani and British education institutions and offered advice and assistance to Pakistani students in the UK.

A spokesman for the Pakistan Consulate in Birmingham told the Birmingham Mail: “I cannot comment on the exact reasons why the wing was closed but it clearly did not perform as was expected.

“All education services are now dealt with by the main Pakistani High Commission office in London.”

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