Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Mission Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Julie Koenen (now online) and Minister of Education and Literacy Saeed Ghani witnessed Wednesday the signing of an agreement between the provincial government and two educational management organizations (EMO) for managing 71 schools built by USAID for the next 10 years.
The ceremony, which was held at CM House, marked the surrender of the newly built school management under the USAID Sindh Basic Education Program (SBEP) to EMO. Officials from USAID participated virtually while the Sindh government and EMO representatives attended the ceremony in person, while observing the social distance protocol.
Education Secretary Ahmed Bakhsh Narejo and representatives from two selected EMOs – Charter for Compassion (CFC) and Community Health and Nutrition Development (HANDS) – signed an agreement to manage these schools for 10 years. HANDS and CFC each signed four and one agreement.
Under this agreement, the two organizations will manage 71 government schools, including 25 new schools built by USAID, to improve the quality of education in the four districts of Sindh, Dadu, Qamber Shahdadkot, Karachi and Larkana.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Shah appreciated USAID-SBEP and the strong support of the US government to modernize education in the province. He added that the government was a pioneer in launching a public-private partnership reform by outsourcing operations and management of public sector schools for 10 years to the well-known EMO under this agreement.
“We are proud to partner with the Sindh Government on this important initiative,” said Julie Koenen, mission director, USAID / Pakistan. “The Sindh Basic Education Program improves the quality of teaching and increases equal access to safe learning opportunities for children, especially girls.”
He underlined the commitment of the US government to support Pakistan’s efforts in education. The US government, through USAID, contributed $ 159.2 million, while the Sindh government provided a $ 10 million share for SBEP. The project aims to increase and maintain student enrollment in primary, secondary and secondary public schools in certain areas of Sindh, with a special focus on bringing back girls who have dropped out of school.
In addition to building schools, SBEP also supports provincial government reforms in the fields of education, school consolidation, incorporation and improvement, community mobilization, public-private partnerships and improving student reading competency in schools. SBEP built up to 106 modern school buildings in 10 districts, Dadu, Jacobabad, Qamber-Shahdadkot, Karachi-West, Karachi-Malir, Karachi-South, Kashmore, Khairpur, Larkana and Sukkur.
The chief minister said that currently, the construction of 70 schools had been completed, and 43 of them had previously been submitted to seven EMOs. Construction of the remaining schools is in various stages of completion, he added.