KARACHI: The Sindh Minister for Education and Literacy Department, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, officially launched “Sindh Education Sector Plan 2014 (SESP)” at a ceremony held in a local hotel,says a statement on Monday.
He acknowledged the efforts of Reform Support Unit and Local Education Group, with the commitment to fulfill the responsibility of free and compulsory education for children between 5-16 years of age.
The Minister pledged on behalf of government and his party will full support in the implementation of SESP which is for Education for the entire Sindh province.
Khuhro informed the audience that $66million grant has been given by Global Partnership for Education (GPE) for the successful implementation of the plan.
The launching ceremony was attended by the representatives of different civil society, academicians and educational experts besides ELD and RSU officials.
Majority of the speakers and experts were of the view that the preparation and launching of the SESP is a milestone but the real challenge is to fully implement it. They emphasized upon all the stakeholders especially civil society organizations to take full ownership of the plan and monitor the pace of implementation to achieve the results. The experts suggested strict and biannual review of implementation of the plan.
Ms. Saba Mahmood, Chief Program Manager- RSU, welcomed the guests and said that the Reform Support Unit of the Sindh Government Education and Literacy Department took on a lead role in shouldering this mega responsibility of the government with the guidance of the Minister and Secretary of Education while presenting the SESP roadmap.
The SESP covers Early Childhood Education to Higher Secondary Education and defines the policies, strategies and programming priorities set in for the next 5 years which covers governance and accountability, non-formal education, Teacher education, curriculum and assessment, school infrastructure, cross cutting issues and priority areas and costing and financing issues.
Ms. Shehla Rashid Din, Education Specialist from UNICEF said that UNICEF will provide technical support in the process of successful rollout of SESP at the district level.
She also said that SESP is a major step towards reinforcing the Universal Declaration of “Right to Education” and Article 25-A of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan which is “free and compulsory education”.
One of the key note speakers, Ms.Sadqa Salahuddin, Executive Director at Indus Resource Center (IRC) told the audience that this plan is recognition of the rights of Children in Sindh. She also emphasized on the importance of political commitment and accountability for the implementation of SESP.
The other keynote speaker, Dr. Muhammad Memon, Educationist and Professor at Aga Khan University, spoke on SESP as an alternative approach to transformation of Education in Sindh. He also suggested that District Education Plan should be made as per the performance of each district.
Senior Program Manager at RSU Ghulam Nabi explained the key interventions including Early Childhood Education. He informed the gathering that the enrollment of early childhood education ECE will be increased from 32 to 45 percent by 2018. While the targets for primary enrolment 59 to 77, Middle 34 to 50, Secondary 23 to 35 and Higher Secondary 19 to 30 percent.
He said that the target for overall literacy is set to increase from 59 to 70 percent by 2018.
The SESP has been developed after the extensive consultation of the Local Education Group (LEG) comprising of scholars in academia and several other national and international educational partners working in the province.
Overall cost of SESP is worked out at Rs 940 billion. Total estimated gap is Rs 186 billion out of which Rs 84 million is expected to be financed by development partners including Global Partnership for Education while the additional gap of Rs 102 billion will be provided by Government of Sindh.