Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah chairs the meeting of board of governors of Sindh Education Foundation at CM House. Image Credit: Supplied

Karachi: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has approved a proposal to establish 1,000 new schools under public-private partnership arrangement to enroll 200,000 out-of-school children in the province.

The semi-autonomous Sindh Education Foundation (SEF), which is primarily responsible for supporting the non-governmental and charitable organisations to spread education, has been tasked with establishing 1,000 new schools in the province.

Sindh CM approved the proposal to this effect while chairing the meeting of board of governors of SEF.

Out-of-school children is a major issue in Sindh as their numbers are estimated to be around four million. While chairing the meeting of SEF’s BoG, the CM said that enrolling out-of-school children was the foremost priority of his government.

“If coronavirus-related restrictions don’t get in our way, we are expected to build these schools by next year,” said SEF Managing-Director Abdul Kabir Kazi.

He said that a budget of Rs 2.5 billion was expected to be spent to build these schools.

He said that these 1,000 schools would be established all over the province especially in the districts where the educational institutions had been in less than the required number.

He said the tendering process had been completed to select the partner private sector organisations to establish these schools.

At present, the SEF has been running 1870 schools all over the province having the enrollment of around 4,75,000 students. Out of these 1870 schools, 70 have been working as the non-formal education centres to impart vocational training to the children.

The SEF has been running this network of schools with an annual budget of Rs 4.5 billion that is going to be increased by Rs one billion.

Pakistan Navy

The SEF MD said that his organization had also been partnering with the not-for-profit the Citizens’ Foundation to establish another 500 schools to spread literacy in the province.

He said the SEF was also going to enter into partnership with the Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Air Force, and Sindh Rangers to run schools in remote and under-privileged areas of the province including along the Pakistan-India border in Sindh.

The SEF will also grant scholarships to the brilliant students of the government-run schools who got admission in the cadet colleges on merit.

The SEF is going to assume the responsibility of 21 English-medium comprehensive schools newly built by the Sindh government in different districts.