By: The News, Pakistan, 4 April 2018
The government of Japan will provide a grant of $1.1 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) for supporting the non-formal education initiative and provide alternative education to out-of-school children and adolescents in Sindh.
According to the Reform Support Unit (RSU) of Sindh’s School Education & Literacy Department (SELD), around 150 non-formal education centres will be established for 4,500 children and adolescents, 2,500 girls among them, in Ghotki and Khairpur districts.
These centres will be set up by Unicef in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), under the leadership of the Directorate of Literacy and Non-Formal Education and SELD.
In these centers, out-of-school children and adolescents will get another chance to acquire education. The Sindh government has approved a learning curriculum and textbooks for these centres.
Through this initiative, 150 non-formal education facilitators, including 90 women, will be trained on child-centered interactive teaching methodology to deliver quality and relevant content for learning.
For monitoring and effective functioning, village education committees (VEC) comprising 20 community members, at least 60 per cent of them women, will be formed and trained to support the centres.
What the project is about
Defining the project, Dr Iqbal Hussain Durrani, secretary of SELD, said non-formal education was an important stream of education and was among four priorities of the education department in development agenda for the next 10 years.
Durrani said JICA had not only an important role in the education sector by supporting the directorate to achieve the targets of the Sindh Education Sector Plan 2014-18 in areas on non-formal education, but it also had a great contribution in constructing 52 permanent schools in different districts of the province.
On this occasion, Toshikazu Isomura, consul general of Japan in Karachi, said education played a critical role not only for the development of individual talent and ability but also for the overall economic development of a nation.
For the purpose, Japan would continue to support the improvement of education in Pakistan, he said. According to RSU officials, JICA is implementing the Advancing Quality Alternative Learning project that aims to strengthen non-formal education delivery systems in Sindh.
Now, JICA is further strengthening its commitment to non-formal education in collaboration with Unicef to ensure the right to education to out-of-school children and adolescents. “JICA expects the government of Sindh to come forward and expand non-formal education as a strategy to provide the right to education to out-of-school children and adolescents under Article 25-A.”