Social & Economic Development- Education

1. SEF Assisted Schools (SAS) Programme (on-going)

SPO is successfully implementing its project titled ‘SEF Assisted Primary Schools (SAS)’ with the financial support of the Sindh Education Foundation (SEF). The project started in April 2016 and was implemented in district Sukkur and Shikarpur in Sindh.  

The objective of this project was to empower the under-privileged communities to bring about social change by creating and facilitating new approaches to learning and education. This initiative was based on the Public Private Partnership (PPP) framework and the objective of the project was to raise the quality of education and improve the literacy rate by ‘reaching the unreached’ in the remote and under-developed areas of Sindh.

SPO provided modern pedagogical tools by establishing audio/visual rooms, provided technologically well-equipped classrooms to facilitate the students, designed interactive learning materials and classroom activities, distributed free school uniforms, and installed solar panels in school buildings for alternative energy solutions.  In order to teach students about the importance of climate change, SPO engaged students in tree plantation campaigns so they learn to protect their natural habitat. The impacts of SAS include 820 children, including 28 girls and 522 boys enrollment in three schools under SEF-Assisted Schools. Moreover, three students of SPO Nawab Khan Buriro received scholarships from IBA for their academic performance.

 

2. SEF Middle and High School Programme (SMHSP) (On-going)

SPO is successfully implementing its project titled ‘SEF Middle and High School Programme (SMHSP)’ with financial support of Sindh Education Foundation (SEF). The project started in April 2016 and is being implemented in district Sukkur and Jacobabad in Sindh. It is an ongoing project with contractual renewal on annual academic year basis.

The objective of this project is to gradually increase the provision of quality post-primary education in the remote areas of Sindh and to extend free and flexible learning opportunities at the grass-roots level. Through this intervention, SPO is focusing on providing quality post-primary education through the creation of a thriving learning environment for young learners.

SPO is providing free textbooks and additional learning materials to enhance student writing and learning skills by promoting activity-based interactive learning. Also, in order to give students all basic necessities, SPO ensures to provide basic facilities such as, safe drinking water, clean and hygienic classrooms, and well-maintained toilets. SPO engaged Telenor Pakistan for assistance in establishing IT laboratories for the Middle and High school programme. In order to engage students in extra- curriculum activities, SPO organized a plantation drive for the beautification of schools. SPO is working on the professional development of teachers to maximize better learning outcomes. Till date, more than 1,000 children, including 203 girls and 797 boys are enrolled in the Middle and High schools. The enrolled children include but are not limited to street children and children from different marginalized communities.  The programme supports the SDG Goal 4 which calls for inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

3. Adolescent and Adult Learning and Training Programme (on-going)

SPO is successfully implementing its project titled ‘Adolescent and Adult Learning and Training Programme (AALTP)’ with financial support of Sindh Education Foundation (SEF). The project started in April 2017 and covers district Sukkur and Jacobabad in Sindh. It is an ongoing project with contractual renewal on an annual academic year basis.

The objective of this project is to provide accelerated formal primary education for vulnerable adolescents and basic functional literacy for adults together with a certified Skill Development/Vocational Training course for each learner to enable them to secure opportunities for human capital development and socio-economic growth.

SPO under its ‘Social & Economic Development’ programme distributed free textbooks and additional learning material for beefing up student’s writing and learning skills. In order to provide a safe and clean learning infrastructure, SPO ensured the provision of basic facilities such as safe drinking water, clean and hygienic learning environment, and well-maintained toilets and an easy access to well-equipped Audio/Visual Room for learning. Till date, more than 450 adolescents have been enrolled in Adolescent and Adult’s Learning and Training Programme, including girls and boys. Moreover, SPO has successfully enrolled 82 adults in its Skill Development Programme where they completed their courses on industrial tailoring, embroidery and mobile repairing. The learners of the programme were recently awarded stipends of PKR 10,000 by SEF. In addition, the alumni of Skill Development Programme have already established their own small enterprises in their respective towns.

4. Promoting Girls Education Programme, Balochistan Education Project (BEP)

SPO successfully implemented its project titled ‘Promoting Girls Education Programme, Balochistan Education Project (BEP)’ with financial support of Global Partnership for Education & Government of Balochistan. The project started in August 2016 and concluded in March 2019 and was implemented in districts Quetta, Qilla Abdullah, Pishin, Mastung, Loralai, Kohlu & Barkan in Balochistan.

The objective of this project was to increase school enrollment and retention in the project-supported schools with a special focus on girls’ participation and to develop a mechanism to improve the quality of school management in the targeted districts of Balochistan.

SPO verified 68 sites to upgrade the schools and developed School Improvement Plans. Project teams of SPO also conducted numerous visits in 08 districts in both regions to identify the abandoned buildings, provided data sheets to GPE for their approval to utilize the 68 identified abandoned buildings. Moreover, during the reporting period, SPO project teams formed 246 Parents-Teachers School Management Committees (PTSMCs) after visits to the respective communities.

SPO established 171 primary schools for girls and boys and successfully enrolled 7,500 children, out of which 5,500 out-of-school girls were enrolled in 98 schools. It is important to mention that the majority of the schools were established in some of the remotest areas of Balochistan such as Musa Khel, Barkan, Qilla Abdullah and Pishin.

5. Right to Education to the Marginalized Communities of Districts Badin and Tharparkar, Sindh

SPO successfully implemented its project titled ‘Right to Education for the Marginalized Communities of District Badin and Tharparkar’ The project started in September 2017 and concluded in November 2018 and was implemented in district Badin and Tharparkar in Sindh.

The overall goal of this project 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.

SPO conducted a baseline survey to chalk out a thorough analysis of both districts and published a report under the title of ‘State of Education in Badin and Tharparkar’, portraying the real picture of education in both districts. The report reflected unsatisfactory 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. 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.

6. Resilient, Informed and Safer Schools and Communities Project

SPO successfully implemented its project titled ‘Resilient, Informed and Safer Schools and Communities Project’ with the financial support of UNICEF. The project started in December 2017 and concluded in November 2018 and was implemented in the most vulnerable and disaster-prone districts of Sindh which included Tando Allahyar, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot and Sanghar.

The overall goal of the project was to carry out a vulnerability and child-centered assessments of 47 schools in four target districts of Sindh.

SPO conducted vulnerability and child-centered assessments of 47 schools. In addition, four projects covering launching and closing ceremonies were also organized. District Disaster Coordination Forums were reactivated, trained and received endorsement from respective District administrations. School Disaster Management Committees (SDMCs) were also reactivated, trained and endorsed by the SELD department. Other important activities of the project included capacity-building trainings, sensitization and awareness sessions. However, those who obtained trainings included 86 head teachers and Government officials, 121 teachers, 94 school wardens, 684 members of SDMCs, 707 Rescuer Group members, 2015 people including teachers, students and communities trained in utilization of DRR kits. In addition, 1916 people participated in theatre performance activities in ten events, 1780 participated in quiz competition activities, 1057 were trained through mock-drill exercises, and 13725 were reached through awareness-raising sessions.

7. Access to Education for All

SPO successfully implemented ‘Access to Education for All’ project in collaboration with Punjab Education Support Programme -2 (PESP-2) and with financial support of DFID from March 2015 to March 2016. The project covered district Bahawalpur and Bahawalnagar in Punjab.

The overall goal of the project was to improve the literacy rate in the districts of Bahawalpur and Bahawalnagar through enhancing enrolment and retention of out of school children in schools.

In order to achieve this target, SPO collected the gender segregated data of Out of School Children (OSC) for age groups (4 – 9 years and 9 – 16 years) from all identified villages in both selected districts and compiled and made it accessible for each stakeholder.  Around 30,000 out of school children were enrolled and retained in schools and a tracking mechanism to evaluate the progress in terms of enrollment and retention in all schools (primary & middle) were developed in collaboration with District Education Departments.

SPO ensured that major number of out of school children, specially girls, are enrolled and retained in both primary and middle schools of targeted districts. SPO also established school management committees to involve community to look after management and progress of students. The community forums played key role in project outreach at village, UCs and district level that represented members from all segments of society including School Management Committees (SMCs), marginalized groups such as women, children, youth, religious minorities and differently able people.

8. Improving Education Profile of Sindh and Baluchistan (Completed)

SPO successfully implemented ‘Improving Education Profile of Sindh & Balochistan’ project in collaboration with Alif Ailan and DFID from July 2014 to June 2015. The project covered Sindh and Balochistan provinces.

The overall goal of the project was to rollout a multi-­tiered rights-­based advocacy campaign seeking structural improvement in the education profile of the targeted districts of Sindh and Balochistan province. A grassroots mobilization campaign was carried out to strengthen voices of citizens. This approach was effective because citizens learnt to articulate their unmet demands such as provision of appropriate school buildings and surrounding environment, teachers and grants to maintain, update and upscale the facilities through focused advocacy campaigns in the target districts. The tools such as protest rallies, teachers’ enrolment drive by the citizens, mobile/sms and electronic media campaigns were employed as part of grassroots activism to notify and to hold to account the elected political leaders and education department officials against malpractices in the education system.

SPO continued to draw on its unique strengths of engaging the district-wide civil society networks (CSNs), partner organizations and District Steering Committees (DSCs) which led to successful execution of project activities.

The project resulted as a huge success which enhanced commitment of the respective Member National Assembly and Member Provincial Assembly towards the cause of education, and a tour of at least ten government schools in his/her constituency in the target district were arranged. Also the issue of teachers’ absenteeism was addressed to an extent that maximum 100 government school teachers were brought back to their appointed places in the schools in the target districts. The mass awareness among the citizens about the district education indicators was created for holding the provincial and district education functionaries accountable for their roles and responsibilities.

9. Engaging children, youth and communities for the promotion of Social Cohesion & Resilience (SCR) in Sindh

SPO successfully implemented its project titled ‘Promote Social Cohesion Through Education’ in collaboration with the UNICEF. The project started in July 2013 and concluded in July 2014 and was implemented in districts Karachi West and Jacobabad in Sindh.

 

The objective of the project was to promote and strengthen social cohesion and resilience through education in vulnerable and conflict prone areas of Sindh.  The key interventions of the project were to mobilize and engage communities by establishing and strengthening community-­based support mechanisms for effective conflict resolution, improving access to quality education at Government Primary Girls’ and Boys’ Schools, teaching marginalized children in remote areas through community schools and providing access to education to out of school children between the ages of 9-­17 years. The project aimed to attain these objectives through Alternative Learning Pathways (ALPs), capacity building of teachers, training and engaging youth as ‘Peace Ambassadors’.

SPO under its ‘Social & Economic Development’ programme implemented this project by building linkages with key stakeholder for improved implementation of interventions at district level. SPO directly contributed to the education and development of 7,350 children, youth, teachers and community members to further promote and strengthen social cohesion in two districts of Sindh. SPO formed 7 peace committees at the Union Council and district level and75 government officials and para-­teachers were also trained on integrated learning approaches. SPO also established 15 community schools, peace promoting events at schools, held sessions for 150 junior leaders of government schools, established 80 Alternative Learning Pathways (ALPs), build capacity of 80 learning facilitators, and held various youth focused activities which contributed towards social cohesion and resilience.

10. Increasing Girls’ Enrollment and Retention and Improving the Quality of Education

SPO successfully implemented its project titled ‘Increasing Girls’ Enrollment and Retention and Improving the Quality of Education’ with the financial support of UNESCO. The project stared in 2012 and concluded in 2013 and was implemented in districts Ziarat and Jaffarabad in Balochistan.

The objective of this project was to support UNESCO’s efforts in increasing girls’ enrolment, retention and improving the quality of education in primary schools by working in close consultation with local authorities. Through this project, SPO mobilized communities and organized advocacy campaigns. SPO’s multi-strategy and approach included action research, mobilization and advocacy of for promotion of girls’ education, and technical assistance for missing facilities.

SPO under its ‘Social & Economic Development’ programme implemented this project by identifying several interventions. SPO successfully transformed school infrastructures and improved learning environments to attract students and parents back to the school system.  In order to improve retention and the quality of girls’ primary education, SPO established PTCs/ SMCs, provided missing facilities such as boundary walls, washrooms, drinking water, minor repairs (to a limited scale), and trained teachers in multi-grade teaching (MGT) and activity based learning (ABL).

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