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Dubai Cares offers special grant for girls schools’ improvement

Dubai CaresLahore: The Dubai Cares has provided a special grant to Pakistan to upgrade 26 government girls schools’ infrastructure and provide quality support to attract maximum number of girls especially in vulnerable communities in Bahawalpur.

The Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA), which is executing the project, in collaboration with the Punjab School Education Department and its district formations has identified the  target schools in need and with potential for enrolling  out-of-school girls.This is part of a larger project that is underway intensively in Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab; and for innovations, across Pakistan.

This was announced by ITA’s director operations Asif Sultan while addressing a Press conference at Idara’s head office on Monday. He said the selected 26 public sector girls’ primary and elementary schools had been adopted to fill in the gap for missing facilities in Bahawalpur. He said the Dubai Cares, a philanthropic organisation working to improve children’s and especially girls’ access to quality primary education in developing countries, has been working extensively in Pakistan and had reached out to 4,028 schools and 1.035 million students and teachers since 2008.

Mr Sultan said Federal Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training Muhammad Balighur Rehman inaugurated the Dubai Cares’ rehabilitation ground breaking ceremony at a Government Boys Primary School, Kora Ronjha, Bahawalpur (EMIS: 31220227), located about 30 kilometers from Bahawalpur city. Saying that school name was a misnomer as  it has  more girls than boys, he said, the school had only one dilapidated  room and verandah,  no boundary wall and what to speak of other facilities. Also, he said, there was just one teacher and barely 30 students enrolled. He said survey of the area revealed that a number of school going age children were out-of-school, while their mothers expressed worries about their sons and daughters’ future, who were not able to access learning.

After the renovation and rehabilitation of the 26 identified schools, Mr Sultan said the ITA would ensure that parents be encouraged to send their daughters to functional schools. The Punjab school education department would be formally more responsive to sustaining the improvements undertaken, he said.

The Idara’s director operations said Balighur Rehman lauded the Dubai Cares’ support and stressed that the project should be expanded to provide quality education to more vulnerable communities in the country. He also acknowledged Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for increased spending on education, provision of missing facilities and non-salary budgets in public schools. On the eve of Pakistan signing the sustainable development goals meeting unmet targets for primary and girls education is critical as it is for meeting the targets of article 25 A.

Responding to a question, Mr Sultan said the ITA would ensure that all school-going age girls be provided access to functional classrooms, working toilet blocks and clean water in the selected 26 schools. He said boundary walls for each school would also be constructed. In order to improve children’s learning capacity, developing interest in learning, inquiry-based approaches and improving the overall classroom environment are underway together with modern learning materials, furniture and para-teachers provided in the selected schools.

He said the schoolteachers, head teachers and school councils would also be provided with quality inputs for learning, early childhood education, accelerated learning methods under Chalo Parho Barho (CPB), health hygiene, life skills and environmental education.

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