USAID, Sindh Govt commemorate community engagement for education reforms

KARACHI, Jun 14 (APP): United States’ Agency for International Development (USAID) and Sindh School Education and Literacy Department participated in a ceremony to showcase the achievements of USAID’s Sindh Community Mobilization Program, which is ending after nine years.

Besides representatives of donor agencies and senior government officials from target districts, USAID Director for Sindh and Balochistan Andrew Rebold and Sindh Secretary of Education Ghulam Akbar Laghari also attended, said release from US Consulate on Tuesday.

“USAID is proud of our partnership with Sindh government that resulted in more children having access to education throughout Sindh,” Andrew Rebold said.

Engaging directly with parents and communities was critical in increasing annual school enrollments, especially for girls.

Approximately 20,000 girls enrolled in schools across the province, while more than 13,000 young girls who had previously dropped out re-enrolled.

The positive effect of the Sindh Community Mobilization Program will be felt for years to come, he added.

SCMP was a key component of the still-ongoing USAID-funded Sindh Basic Education Program, which set out to build 106 state-of-the-art schools and improve student enrollments. SCMP worked with communities to improve dialogue with Sindh’s public-school staff, thereby building stronger confidence in the system.

He said this engagement led to the marked increase of first-time school enrollments and improved student retention rates across the province.  SCMP also worked hand-in-hand with the SELD to successfully roll out a public-private partnership approach to improving public school operations, which had led to better educational outcomes.

Sindh Education Secretary Ghulam Akbar Laghari expressed his appreciation for USAID’s assistance and the U.S. Government’s long-standing support to the education sector.