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Sindh Education Foundation to bring 200,000 children back to school


The Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) is going to establish 1,000 educational institutions across the province under public-private partnership to bring 200,000 out-of-school children back to classrooms.

Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah took the decision during a meeting of the SEF’s board of governors that he chaired at the CM House on Wednesday.

The meeting was told that the SEF plans to set up a thousand schools that will be run by private partners, and these institutions will have the special task of bringing 200,000 out-of-school children back to classrooms. After a discussion, the board members approved the proposal.

Subsidy

SEF Managing Director Abdul Kabir Kazi told the meeting that under the current provision, an annual increase of five per cent in the subsidy on the students enrolled in the SEF school network was approved but no subsidy was granted in the past five years.

He said that the current monthly subsidy framework offers a flat Rs700 per student for all the primary grades and does not incentivise the partners to ensure their progress. He proposed an increase of Rs100 for students of up to grade two and of Rs300 for those in grades three to five, which may incentivise the partners to ensure progress. Higher subsidy rates for post-primary grades will enable the partners to recruit subject specialist teachers, he pointed out.

On the recommendation of the SEF committee, the board approved a monthly subsidy of Rs800 for students of up to grade two, Rs1,000 for those in grades three to five, Rs1,500 for grades six to eight, Rs2,000 for grades nine and 10, and Rs2,200 for grades 11 and 12.

Scholarships

The board decided to offer scholarships to the best students of public schools who got admission on merit in cadet colleges. The SEF’s academic council will select the best students from every cadet college of the province.

The meeting was told that the SEF has been partnering with the Sindh Rangers for 11 schools to extend financial and technical support to the institutions being run by the paramilitary force in remote areas, such as those in border villages.

Other state institutions, like the Pakistan Navy and the Pakistan Air Force, are also running schools in sensitive areas and require adequate support of the SEF for sustainability. After deliberations, the board decided to evolve a separate mechanism to take such schools on board directly under the SEF’s per child subsidy model by signing a memorandum of understanding instead of resorting to a competitive bidding process.

For the schools being run in government buildings, the SEF was allowed to provide need-based financial support to students, for which the foundation would prepare a policy. The meeting was also attended by Education Minister Saeed Ghani, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah, Planning & Development Chairman Mohammad Waseem, CM’s Principal Secretary Sajid Jamal Abro, provincial secretaries Ahmed Bux Narejo and Hassan Naqvi, and SEF members Kaiser Bengali, Dr Qazi Masood, Dr Muhammad Memon, Nazir Tunio and Hasnain Qamar Shah.




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