Abb Takk News

Collaboration Of The Sindh Government and USAID In Field Of Education

(Shafqat Aziz).

Seeing the magnificent building between the fields in Naseerabad district of Qambar Shahdad Kot, a remote area of Sindh, I thought it was a private school, but when I read the name, I found out that it is Government high school, Waso Kalhoro. What a treat to watch of such a beautiful government school building in an extremely rural and remote area. Clean environment inside the school, large classrooms, Children dressed in clean clothes were studying.

The School administration said that this wonderful school has been built in collaboration with the Sindh Government and USAID where all the facilities are available and the children are getting education without any discrimination.

With the help of USAID, 74 modern schools have been built in Sindh, which have been devastated by floods in the past. With the financial support of USAID and the Government of Sindh, 106 schools will be built across the province under the Sindh Basic Education Program, for which USAID has allocated $159.2 million.The Sindh government has also provided $ 10 million.

An agreement was reached between the US government and the Sindh government in 2011 after which construction of schools started in 2013 and 74 schools have been completed out of the 106. Whereas the remaining are at different stages of completion.

The schools are state-of-the-art having all allied facilities which a modern school should have, these includes, science lab, computer lab, libraries, multi-purpose hall for co-curriculum activities, separate washrooms for girls and boys, staff room, principal’s office, the schools under Sindh Basic Education Program are gated and have boundary walls besides playgrounds where students are studying according to world class standards.

Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani says modern schools built by the US government in Sindh are providing quality education while the Sindh Government is also setting up 40 new English medium model schools in the province out of which 30 schools have been set up. Work on them was halted due to the Corona virus pandemic. The remaining ten schools will also be completed soon and such model schools will be set up across the province.

“Our goal is to increase cooperation between the two countries in the field of education,” said James Parys, USAID’s Director for Sindh and Balochistan. The designers of these programs deserve congratulations. It is important to build schools well, but even more important that these schools are run efficiently and to ensure that these schools are being managed under Government of Sindh’s public private partnership policy.

James Parys, USAID's Director for Sindh and Balochistan.

The US government sees Pakistan as a leading country where education is valued and we are happy to play our part. In response to a question, James Parys said the same law applies to these schools. There will be free syllabuses for government schools in Sindh. The government will also provide stipends to girls and salaries to teachers.The parents of the children are also satisfied with the quality of education being provided in the schools being built with the help of the US Government.

They say that the schools were destroyed due to the floods but now with the construction of new schools they can send their children to remote areas. Many students studying in these schools said that they had dropped out of school due to lack of schools in the area but have re-entered the new school where the teachers teach them very hard.

Amjad Jamal, Deputy Director Communication, Sindh Community Mobilization Program, says that schools constructed with the financial support from USAID, are being handed over to different private organizations, we call them Education Management Organizations (EMOs), these are reputable institutions having huge experience in education. They will not only maintain the schools, but also train the government teachers on modern Education techniques, teachers training plays vital role to ensure quality in education. These 106 newly constructed schools to benefit over 50,000 students. Whereas the program is benefitting more than 300,000 students in 750 government schools under the Sindh Basic Education Program.

The US-funded schools in the province are providing quality education, but there are few such model Schools in such a large province. The Sindh government should focus on improving the rest of its schools so that no child in Sindh is deprived of the blessings of education as education is the basic right of every child.#