Education is a fundamental aspect for a productive and harmonious society. In broadest sense education is any act or experience that has a formative effect on the mind, character or physical ability of the individuals. It enables individual to develop a healthy and positive disposition to life, contribute to the community and society. In its technical sense education is the process by which society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills and values from one generation to another. One can say that education is the key indicator in our society which creates absolute human capital in the nation.
The education in rural areas depends upon the availability of trained teaching staff, parent teacher partnership/coordination and the will / monitoring of the executing agency. Poverty, illiteracy, remoteness, law and order of the particular areas are remained drivers of dropouts and poor education in rural areas. In rural Sindh, people are suffering from abject poverty and unemployment due to the low literacy in the areas. One of the reasons for the low literacy is the feudal-lords who are the major hurdle. At Shikarpur and Kandhkot districts there are mostly scattered schools barely having one/two room(s).
Combating this, Sindh Government has taken drastic efforts by partnering the Sindh Rural Support Organization, signed an agreement under the UC based poverty reduction program carried out in district Shikarpur and Kashmore-Kandhkot to bring the literacy up to the standard by functionalizing 102 Primary Schools, 24 Second Shift Girls Primary Schools and 09 Early Childhood Centers in both the districts. Including renovation / improvements in buildings; adding missing facilities; hiring local teachers (preferably female); upgrading teachers capacity and strengthening the stakes of the parents through setting up functional and empowered school management committees, including their capacity building. In villages where there were no primary schools for girls, set up and run around 24 Second Shift Girls' Primary Schools in existing Boys' Primary Schools besides setting up 09 Centers for imparting Early Childhood Education in existing school buildings.
The component was undertaken to ensure delivery of quality education by keeping the schools functional and develop better environment for the students to increase the enrollment especially of girl child and out of school children. For the purpose, renovated the infrastructure and provided furniture and fixtures wherever found missed, teachers were recruited and trained, revitalized School Management Committees (SMCs), as per standard procedure with the support from District Government and Education Department. The project focuses on proper formation and support to the School Management Committees (SMCs) to manage the schools, provision of capacity building opportunities to SMCs members and teachers, provision of necessary financial support to SMCs for payment of teachers salary and operational cost for schools, provision of necessary engineering and financial support for rehabilitation of school building and improvement in school environment and linking up schools with donors and education department for ensuring project sustainability.
The project team is working hard to ensure quality education by keeping the schools functional and develop better environment for the education. All 102 schools have been functionalized in morning shift at Kashmore-Kandhkot and Shikarpur. Out of 102 schools, 47 are in Kashmore-Kandhkot and 55 in Shikarpur district. Total enrolled students are 8,290 having bifurcation of 4,244 Girls and 2,347 Boys in the morning shift schools of both the districts. In evening shift schools (Girls) total enrollment was 1,446 and in ECEC enrollment was 127 (Boys) and 126 Girls were enrolled in both districts.
Elementary Education through Cluster Schools in District Shikarpur & Khandhkot Kashmore
SRSO made an agreement with Community Development Program (CDP), Planning & Development Department, and Government of Sindh (GOS). The SRSO was required to construct/repair and run three cluster schools up to the elementary level by arranging and providing education facilities for almost 1,500 students of rural areas of Shikarpur and Kashmore-Kandhkot. The agreement between SRSO and CDP was signed on 15th May 2012. The agreement remains active for a period of 18 months from the date of its commencement and will be completed in December 2013.
The specific objective is to provide quality education to the children of rural areas of respective districts through clustering of school facilities to 3 schools situated at:
The management of these three schools was handed-over to SRSO for collaboration to take joint responsibilities for the sustainability of these schools established under the projects (SRSO – CDP Cluster Elementary Schools) in District Shikarpur and Kashmore-Kandhkot.
The Project is designed to bring, out of school children into schools, while providing conducive educational environment, and reduce and prevent dropouts together with providing skilled teaching staff and educational kit. This project will be executed through LSOs - a cluster of organized villages to be in line with the approach of Rural Support Programs (RSPs).
The Project ensures linkages among the rural households, Government departments/agencies, other service providers, stakeholders and between government's social protection programs and the poorest.
Six Cluster Schools for Shikarpur and Kashmore @ Kandhkot:
To improve the quality of education in remote areas Education and Literacy Department, Government of Sindh granted another task for the establishment of 6 cluster / consolidated schools in district Shikarpur and Kandhkot through up gradation of Six existing primary schools of the Government of Sindh managed by SRSO.
The cluster schools are aligned with the policy of the education department where all facilities will be provided in one central school through consolidation of adjoining schools in the vicinity. These 6 cluster schools will also serve 36 existing primary schools in the vicinity. This will be an effort to reach out to the marginalized and poor children and provide education in areas which continue to be a challenge for public sector. The construction of schools will be done by SRSO's engineering wing under strict monitoring of local communities and SRSO. The academic session initiated from April 2015. The project has budget of Rs. 167 million. The initial expiry of the project was on June 2016 but had been extended till 30 June 2018.
These Cluster Schools embarked on modern teaching methods at district Shikarpur and Kandhkot. A child centered teaching method has been adopted that will increase the students' interest in school. The state of the art facilities including subject specialist, playgrounds, modern learning techniques, libraries, computer and Science labs, and also provided School vans for pick and drop service. The establishment of cluster Schools have changed the people's mindset and uplifted education standards in the rural areas.
SRSO also provided teachers' capacity building training programme for newly recruited Cluster School teachers and community managed primary school teachers.
USAID and Education and Literacy Department - Govenment of Sindh
The government of Sindh, through the Education and Literacy Department in collaboration with Sindh Rural Support Organization(Operator/EMO) is working to promote the quality of education and outsourcing management and operation of Government Boys High School, Sami district Khairpur and Government Girls High School, Numaish Colony district Sukkur under the Hub- schools project of USAID.
The USAID Hub-school project is aimed to deliver the quality education by recruiting subject specialist teachers and managing administration by Academic Coordinators in both schools. The SRSO is committed to establish Computer Lab, Science Lab and providing solar electricity to maintain and enhance the quality education and proper management of school.
These schools have been awarded to SRSRO in the month of Feb 2018 and presently the enrollment of Girls High School Numiash Colony is 603 and, Government Boys High School Sami’s enrollment is 630.