SINDH EDUCATION REFORM PROGRAM (SERP)
THE SCHOOL REHABILATATION PROGRAM – a School Infrastructure Investment Initiative (SII) – for provision of missing/lacking facilities, is primarily aimed at providing necessary additional resources to improve access constraint reported to be affecting the low enrolments and high drop out rates at all levels, especially at primary level, in the public sector especially in the rural areas of Sindh. All other donor assisted programs including one from the European Commission are also expected to chin in their resources and align their sector interventions with the Sindh Education Sector Strategy.
The School Rehabilitation Plan (SRP) is one of the many other components as envisaged under the Sindh Education Reform Program (SERP), dealing variously with (I) Improving fiscal sustainability and effectiveness of public expenditure, (II) Improving education sector governance and management, (III) Improving access to quality schooling particularly in rural areas and for girls, and (IV) Improving the quality of teaching and learning.
In this context, the SRP initiative envisions the provision of proper building covers to shelter-less schools, additional class rooms, and missing facilities (electricity, water, toilet and boundary wall) at government –run, operational primary schools, in all the districts of Sindh, amongst other initiatives under SINDH EDUCATION REFORM PROGRAM (SERP) – a three year medium term program supported by the World Bank’s programmatic series of Education Sector Development Policy Credits for budgetary support to Govt. of Sindh. Donor Coordination is also envisaged as one of the most critical issues under the sector strategy.
The School Rehabilitation Program(SRP) has planned to help improve physical access by providing missing/lacking facilities (water, electricity, toilets and boundary walls), additional class rooms and adequate with allied facilities to shelter-less schools in Sindh, in order to help the district governments achieve MINIMUM FUNCTIONALITY IN TERMS OF MINIMUM SERVICE STANDARDS for all public schools in Sindh. However, the first year of the program was restricted to the PRIMARY SCHOOLS ONLY, empowering partner District Governments to decide on their own their own the prioritised primary schools (Core List of Priority Primary Schools – CLIPPS), within the LIMISTS OF PRESCRIBED CRITERIA – all schools to be existing, main, functional, primary govt. schools without any duplication. Schemes were required to be physically surveyed by the District Governments before selection of such schemes. An undertaking on a prescribed certificate was obtained as a pre-requisite from each partner District Government undertaking in writing that it complied with the laid down criteria for selection of schemes before approving them at the District level.
Girls Stipend Activity
Government of Sindh has initiated a broad based Education Reform Program to deal with issues of access, quality and governance that challenge education sector in Sindh. Under one component of this program, all the girls studying in class VI-X are being provided annual stipend in an effort to address huge gender disparity in education attainment in Sindh.
The Education & Literacy Department, Government of Sindh initiated distribution of Stipends since 2001-2002 under the Sindh Structural Adjustment Credit (SAAC). The Reform Support Unit has taken this responsibility from 2005-2006 through Money Orders.
The Stipends are given to girl students only who are studying from class-VI to X in anyGovernmentSchool. This intervention is of two types.
- Standard Stipends Policy (SSP)
- Differential Stipends Policy (DSP)
Reform Support Unit (RSU), under SSP distributed stipend to girl students amounting to Rs. 1,000/- per student studying in class-VI to X till 2008-09. But from the academic session of 2009-10, the amount has been enhanced from Rs. 1,000/- to 2,400/- per annum throughout the Sindh (except DSP talukas). In DSP talukas, the beneficiaries received Rs. 2,400/- till 2008-09 and from 2009-10 the stipend amount has been enhanced to Rs. 3,600/- per student in those talukas where the transition rate from class 5 to class 6 is low. The rationale behind this scheme is to increase the enrollment of girl students in secondary classes in remote and unprivileged areas of Sindh. Under DSP, 30 low transition rate talukas are selected by World Bank and from 2010-11, fifteen (15) more talukas from severely flood affected districts are proposed to be taken up for DSP status ,thus, the number of DSP talukas in the academic year 2010-11 would stand 45.
During year 2005-06, Reform Support Unit distributed stipends among 2,80,045 girl students throughout Sindh. The number of beneficiaries were 2,96,567 in 2006-07, 2,59,539 in 2007-08, 3,30,941 in 2008-09 and 3,70,000 in 2009-2010 respectively.
The World Bank and the European Commission are also providing assistance to this program through an IDA credit by the World Bank and an education sector grant by the European Commission. Both the development partners monitor implementation of the program to ensure achievement of targets agreed with them. The continuity of their support depends upon the evidence that all the targets are achieved on time. One Disbursement Linked Indicator is on time stipends delivery to the girl students and availability of 90% acknowledgement receipts of each district that are sent back to the RSU.
Distribution of Free Text Books to Students:
Government of Sindh, since 2003, has taken a major initiative of distribution of free textbooks to the students of primary classes in all government schools. From 2005-6 this incentive has been vertically expended till class X and an amount of Rs. 609 Million was earmarked for this purpose in the budget for 2005-06 which is being repeated in financial year 2006-07. Enrollment figures for the last few years have shown a positive correlation in the wake of this incentive. It is essential to point out here that due to positive impact of the program the Govt. of Sindh has announced distribution of free textbooks to the students for class XI-XII this year (2010-11).
Reform Support Unit has been working with the Text Books Board since year 2006 in facilitating the delivery of these books. A comprehensive system of monitoring has been devised using the reporting proformas as well as physical presence of RSU teams along with district government official to ensure the safe handing over of these books to the head master of each school. In order to provide incentive and cover transportation cost, an amount has been allocated for headmasters as well as Assistant District Officer (Education) of respective Talukas.
To increase the enrollment and over come drop out ratio of school going children.
To attracts the poor parents especially of rural areas to send their children to school.
To reduces the education cost.
School Management Committees:
The Reform Support Unit was established in the Department Of Education to execute the Sindh Education Reform Program (SERP). One of the major requirements of the Reform Agenda of SERP is the establishment of strong community participation through the development of School Management Committee. As it is recognized that where parents and local communities are involved in school activities student achievement improves.
The Community has a positive role to play in ensuring the educational institution’s efficacy of the educational institutions of the area. It has been a proven fact now that quality of students produced by the education system in an area has been contingent to some extent with the community participation and accountability mechanism. However, this participation has been waning in the recent past. In order to revive the interest of community Government of Sindh has revived the institution of School Management Committees. All the primary schools in Sindh have by now these committees comprising of five members where parent is the chairman of the committee with Headmaster working as General Secretary. out of five members two are parents and will be elected through a process of community aggregation.
- To Understand the role of SMCs and the participation of the community in the Education provided to their children in public sectors schools.
- To provide complementary support to the head teachers and education sector officers in their efforts to deliver on time quality education to their children.
- To assist in raising and sustaining the quality of learning outcomes for students.
- To protect and enhance all existing school assets.
- To monitor the classroom performance and attendance of teachers.
- To increase and sustain school enrollment and reduce dropouts as much as possible.
Under the umbrella of RSU the component of SMC is endeavoring to mobilize the community through activation of SMCs. In the year 2009-10 the components achieved the D.L.I target i.e activation of 60 % SMCs. The fundsto the tune of Rs.855 Million are release to 32,086 SMCs of the public sector schools at the following rates.
- Primary School=Rs 22,000
- Middle School =Rs.50,000
- Secondary and Higher Secondary School= Rs.100,000
TARGETS FOR THE CURRENT FINANCIAL YEAR:
In the current financial year the target of activation of 70% SMCs have been set for which Rs.1.3 Billion have been allocated by Government of Sindh. Besides this during financial year 2009-10; 2500 SMCs are mobilized in eight pilot districts by involving NGOs and 25000 more SMCs will be activated through NGOs in the next financial year.
School Census :
The essence of policy formulation is embedded in scientifically analyzed credible data. Education sector is especially more sensitive being the cutting edge of human resource development. Despite infusion of huge amount of money, the improvement/progress in the vital education indicators is not possible with unreliable or incorrect data. Unavailability of all the links/ parts of this puzzle would not let enforcement or conceptualization of proper planning. This range from the enrollment , number of schools, their proximity, their functional status, population of area, number of private school in area, economic status, missing facilities, number, qualification and presence of teachers etc. Since the data is dynamic and not a static phenomenon, it requires to be updated regularly.
The Education Department is conducting the school census on annual basis to capture a school profile of all Govt. Schools in Sindh. The School Census provides a detail of enrollment, infrastructure, teachers as well as other information about the school.
In order to achieve objective of provision of dynamic and reliable data, RSU has improved upon the scope, methodology and implementation of school census 2008-09 by providing technical inputs in data collection form , training of concerned personnel and scientifically validating the collected data etc.The School Census 2010-11 was completed in March 2011 .
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