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Ehsaas programme to soon introduce nationwide school enrolment drive

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar chairing a meeting, on January 06, 2021. — Twitter  

ISLAMABAD: The government eyes to roll out a nationwide drive for school enrolment soon in collaboration with the provinces and key development stakeholders under the Ehsaas programme. The initiative aims to reduce dropout rates.

The move was discussed during a maiden meeting of the Ehsaas steering committee for Waseela-e-Taleem Digital, which is an education conditional cash transfer programme.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Sania Nishtar chaired the meeting.

“The programme targets will be aligned with results of Ehsaas National Socio-economic Registry survey that is currently 61% complete in the field and is expected to be concluded before June 2021 nationwide”, said SAPM Dr Sania.

It was agreed during the meeting that a sub-committee would be constituted with experts from the steering committee stakeholders and provinces.

The steering committee will meet biannually to review the progress and strategic direction of the programme.

The Waseela-e-Taleem Digital initiative

Earlier, the steering committee members were briefed on the Waseela-e-Taleem Digital, that has massively been reformed and scaled up through end-to-end digitisation, cost-effective changes in institutional infrastructure, a new stipend policy, and nationwide expansion across all districts.

The Rs80 billion programme will bring five million deserving primary school children into its fold from across all 154 districts of Pakistan over a four-year duration.

The steering committee reviewed the programme performance, discussed the way forward and explored options to enhance the outcomes of the programme capitalising on conditionalities introduced in the programme.

“The purpose of the deep-rooted digital reform in Waseela-e-Taleem under Ehsaas was to promote integrity, transparency, accountability and to improve targeting,” Dr Sania Nishtar said.

“As per the Ehsaas payment policy, all payments are bio-metrically verified in real-time; girls get Rs2,000 and boys to get Rs1,500 per quarter when 70% of school attendance is ensured.”

The meeting brought together members of the steering committee from Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Education and Professional Training, Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Education Departments from provinces including AJK and GB who were joined by the Waseela-e-Taleem Digital operations team.

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