Sindh Government entrusts private sector to manage schools

Karachi(HRNW) – United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Julie Koenen, and Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, and Minister for Education and Literacy Saeed Ghani, virtually witnessed the agreement signing between Government of Sindh and Education Management Organizations (EMOs).

The ceremony held at the Chief Minister’s House marked the handing over of management of the schools newly constructed under USAID Sindh Basic Education Program (SBEP) to the EMOs. Officials from USAID participated virtually while the Sindh Government and EMO representatives attended the ceremony in-person, observing social distancing protocols.

Secretary of Education, Ahmed Bakhsh Narejo and representatives from the two selected EMOs – Charter for Compassion (CFC) and Health and Nutrition Development Society (HANDS) – signed the agreements to manage these schools for a period of 10 years. HANDS and CFC signed four and one agreements, respectively. Under these agreements, both organizations will manage 71 government schools including 25 newly USAID constructed schools to improve quality of education in four districts of Sindh i.e. Dadu, Qamber Shahdadkot, Karachi, and Larkana.

“We are proud to partner with the Government of Sindh in this important initiative. The Sindh Basic Education Program is improving the quality of teaching and increasing equitable access to safe learning opportunities for children, especially girls.” said Julie Koenen, Mission Director, USAID/Pakistan. She emphasized the U.S. Government’s commitment to supporting Pakistan’s efforts in education.

Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah expressed appreciation for USAID-SBEP and the U.S. Government’s strong support in modernizing education in the province. Government of Sindh is the pioneer in launching Public-Private Partnership reforms by outsourcing the operations and management of public-sector schools for a period of ten years to reputed EMOs under these agreements.

The U.S. Government through USAID is contributing $159.2 million whereas the Government of Sindh is providing $10 million cost-share for SBEP. The project aims to increase and sustain student enrollment in primary, middle, and secondary public schools in selected areas of Sindh, with a special focus on bringing back girls who have dropped out of schools. In addition to constructing schools, SBEP also supports the government’s reforms in education, school consolidation, merging and upgrading, community mobilization, public-private partnerships and improving reading competencies of students in schools. SBEP is constructing up to 106 modern school buildings in ten districts of Sindh (i.e. Dadu, Jacobabad, Qamber-Shahdadkot, Karachi-West, Karachi-Malir, Karach-South, Kashmore, Khairpur, Larkana and Sukkur). Currently, construction of 70 schools has been completed out of which 43 were previously handed over to seven EMOs. Construction of remaining schools is at various stages of completion.

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