Ali Gul Leghari-Johi
Sindh Education Foundation a Semi-Autonomous organization established under the Sindh Education Foundation act 1992 to enhance the education system in Sindh Province in collaboration of Sindh Government. The foundation aims at providing a large number of educational activities especially in the marginalized areas of Sindh under the vision of “Empowering disadvantaged communities towards social change by creating and facilitating new approaches to learning and education”. Initially, SEF’s worked on providing grants to educational institutes and organizations. In 2009, it widened its work by initiating subsidy model-based schools with the name of PPRS (Promoting Private School in Rural Areas) under the Public Private Schooling system with individuals as well as organizations. Today, the foundation has extended several components such SAS, (Sef Assisted Schools), ESSP (Existing Schools Support Program), SMHS, (Sef Middle/High Schools) and AALTP (Adult and Adolescent Training Program). There are more than 1800 schools with an enrollment of more than 450000 students across the province who are getting free of cost quality education and free of cost Oxford and STBB books. SEF’s schools are purely subsidy based. In general, the schools are opened where there is no Government school or with at least 1 to 1.5 Km distance from the Government schools with at least 100 strength of children to be enrolled. There is a prescribed way of selecting schools. Any Graduate holder who possesses abilities to run schools may apply for the schools. Additionally, the non-profit organizations are also preferred for schools. An amount of 700/child subsidy is paid to the entrepreneur/ operator for primary level (PPRS, SAS and ESSP) whereas 1000/child subsidy and 1200/ child subsidy is paid for Middle and High Schools (SMHS) on monthly basis respectively. Advance subsidy for the period of 3months and rehabilitation cost is also paid to operator for schools which may vary from program to program. An operator has to run schools and fulfill all the needs of schools from the subsidy from hiring of qualified teaching staff, their salaries to school administration cost. SEF pays much attention towards the trainings of teachers. Every year, all the teachers are trained by third party and SEF’s own Training unit. Besides it, teachers as well as students assessment test is also conducted by third party and SEF’s Assessment Unit to evaluate their performance. SEF has introduced e-learning system for the students of far flung areas by launching INSTAL Program. The students can now easily access to the modern learning technics through by operating Tablets in which different teaching and learning programs and activities are designed. In this program a grant of Rs. 200,000. (for LED, Solar Panels and Comp Lab) is paid to the desired schools for Training and development On-going technical Support. “Teach for Change” an innovative program has been initiated in SEF Schools in which professional engagement of fresh, qualified and motivated youth have been hired to bring about a change in the quality of teaching-learning process in the schools through subject-specific teaching support in Mathematics, Science English as well as mentoring of teachers with an overarching objective of school improvement. Its Main Objective is “Teaching Support Associates in the Teach for Change initiative work at the Foundation Assisted Schools in a cooperative and collaborative manner both with the management as well as the teaching faculty and help raise the standard of education in accordance with the overall vision of the Foundation and the Government of Sindh. Previous year, with Collaborative efforts of Foundation, School Partners, Teaching Support Associates and Teachers brought visible improvement in students’ assessment result of 2018, improvement in enrolment, and around 130 students enrolled at TSA deployed schools qualified for the scholarships to prestigious institutions (e.g. A. Q. Khan Schools, NJV High School, Public Schools etc.). The Sindh Education Foundation had also initiated its Scholarship Program “Sindh School Education Scholarship Program” (SSESP) in 2017 to honorand to encourage talented students of Sindh Province with and objective to link them with quality institutions across Pakistan to pursue their post-primary education up-to higher secondary level. SSESP is a fully funded scholarship program running under School Education and Literacy epartment Government of Sindh (SE&LD) and managed by Sindh Education Foundation, Government of Sindh. Scholarship program aims to encourage meritorious students academically and socially to find the best opportunities for future success and skilled with the visionary practices, which can help to create their own paths. An Assessment test is conducted in SEF and government schools by third party throughout the province at primary and elementary level students. The qualified students are bestowed with fully funded scholarship in well-known educational of Pakistan such as Dr. Adul Qadeer Khan Schooling System Islamabad, IBA schools and colleges throughout the Sindh Province and NJV High school Karachi. The students are facilitated with all required books, uniforms, food and hosteling till the completion of Intermediate degree. SEF has played much appreciating role for the betterment of education in the far-flung areas of Sindh especially in Desert areas, Kachho and Kohistan within its limited sources. The foundation has made it possible an easy, free of cost and quality education to the children of remote areas. Most of the students belonging to poor families are today studying in well reputed educational institutes of Pakistan. In marginalized areas where people were unknown to the modern technology, e-learning system and usage of Tablets has brought a magnificent change. Sindh Government should learn from SEF’s model to run the schools, training system e-learning, scholarship programs and SEF’s committed team. If all the components are implied in Government schools, our education system may develop much better than it exists.
(-The writer is a freelance columnist, based in Hussainabad . Taluka Johi, District Dadu.)
Ali Gul Leghari-Johi