Right to Education to the Marginalized Communities of Districts Badin and Tharparkar, Sindh
Status: Completed Start Date: Sep 2017 End Date: Nov 2018 Geographic Coverage: 2 Districts in Sindh Focus Area: Education SDG Goal: 4 To ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all Implementing Partner: SPO Funding Partner: Foundation Open Society Institute
SPO received a grant in 2017 for a project titled ‘Right to Education for the Marginalized Communities of District Badin and Tharparkar’. The purpose of this grant was to raise awareness among particular communities in Sindh to obtain their Constitutional right to education, as stated in Article-25A of the Constitution and to establish an active citizenry of education stakeholders to promote education governance in terms of accountability, improved services, teachers’ attendance, enrollment, retention and quality of education services at the district level. The grant was awarded by the Open Society Foundation Institute (FOSI). The programme ensured to implement SDG Goal 4 which calls for inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
During the inception period, a baseline survey was conducted to enable a thorough analysis of both districts and a report was published under the title of ‘State of Education in Badin and Tharparkar’, portraying the real picture of education in both districts. The report reflected miserable conditions of in-school children with either limited or no access to o toilet facilities whatsoever; no potable water; no school buildings and electricity etc. as the main reasons for high student drop-out. Unavailability of toilet and boundary walls was found to be the main reasons for keeping girls out of school.
In this project, SPO worked with School Management Committees (SMCs), Community Gate Keepers, political and social activists, District Administration, District Education Department and community representatives for the smooth and timely conduction of activities.
SPO also engaged print and electronic media for the dissemination of messages on rights-based awareness among the public about Article-25A Voice messages were aired through local FM channels and public messages through leading daily newspapers of the area. Engaging opinion-makers in article writing on education and arranging publishing in various dailies of Pakistan and conducting a provincial-level press conference as well as TV talk shows were major activities by the mainstream media were engaged to promote public awareness.
• 32 SMCs acknowledged their ownership and responsibility for their school management fulfilment of tasks. They utilized their SMC funds properly to acquire schools’ basic needs as specified in the School Improvement Plans. SMCs members become seriously involved in schools’ development as in provision of drinking water, repair of electrical equipment, maintenance and purchase of furniture, repair work such as plastering and maintenance of roof.
• After interventions of SPO and development of School Improvement Plans (SIPs), UCAAGs mobilized SMCs for utilization of SMCs’ annual funds, which were not properly utilized during the recent years. This resulted in a better atmosphere and infrastructure for the smooth running of schools.
• It was for the first time in the area that Union Council Khalifo Qasima’s women from UCAAGs conducted meetings with SMCs, teachers and civil society members for the formation of SIPs. Ms. Basheeran, member, UCAAGs became a role model for local women in the area.
• After this intervention and mobilization of UCAAGs and EIG, members raised their voices about education. They started the education campaign known as ‘Vote for Education’. During the election campaign, UCAAGs demanded pledges for education facilities from different political parties’ candidates. UCAAGs members shared the missing facilities data on social media and engaged different members in this campaign. Due to these messages becoming viral, different political leaders’ promisesed to provide education facilities during their next tenure.
• After the intervention of SPO, the local people of village Ali Murad Pitafi planted more than 120 trees and provided a bore hand pump for the government primary school. They also wrote letters with the help of the school teacher to the Education department for the construction of class rooms and washrooms and for provision of basic facilities for the school.
• The community of the village Ali Khan Jamali took a self-initiative for the construction of huts for boys’ and girls’ primary schools because there was no government building for schools.
• With continued mobilization and advocacy campaign of SPO, 81 schools of the target district were included in the annual Government budget. A tender notice inviting bids for facilities in schools was published.
• The SPO team was invited by the School Education and Literacy Department (SELD) to the consultative workshop to provide inputs on a future roadmap for improving the standard of education across the Province by focusing on areas such as access, quality, and improving governance. (SELD was established with an aim to fulfill the state’s responsibility of providing basic education to its people under Article-25A of the Constitution of Pakistan). In the workshop, the SPO team shared its experience of education at Union Council level and specially met Sindh Minister for Education Syed Sardar Ali Shah and Secretary Mr. Qazi Shahid Pervez and handed over a charter of demands to them.