Govt to back drive to enroll 4.2m out-of-school children in Sindh: Governor

Sindh Governor Imran Ismail has said that the government will fully back the campaign to enroll 4.2 million out-of-school children in the province which would promote the cause of education in a manner that is necessary to establish a welfare society on the pattern of the State of Madinah. The Governor was addressing a ceremony recently at an amusement park here to inaugurate a day-long gala for students of a network of over 150 charitable schools in the remote parts of the province.

The event was organized by the not-for-profit Green Crescent Trust (GCT). The trust aims to expand its network of charitable schools in the province with support from similar charities to enroll 4.2 million out-of-school children in Sindh.

The governor said that the government would also fully back all the charitable initiatives of the civil society for the benefit of the orphans as it fulfilled the agenda of making Pakistan a welfare state on the pattern of the Riyasat-e-Madinah. He said that education of children from underprivileged families in Sindh on welfare basis was in accordance with the vision of the government, which aimed to develop every part of the country, including Sindh, evenly.

Moreover, the governor said that the government would also provide all out support to the charitable campaigns in the province for the promotion of girls’ education belonging to the under-privileged families.

He said that the government had been running shelter homes and soup kitchens and it would also introduce “Ehsaas” programme to further its vision of establishing Madinah-like State in Pakistan.

The governor assured the GCT of his fullest support in the trust’s drive to expand its network of welfare schools in the remote parts of the province.

Speaking on the occasion, the GCT CEO, Zahid Saeed, expressed his gratitude to the donors and sponsors of his charitable organizations owing to which it had been able to provide outstanding support to over 1,600 orphan students enrolled in over 150 charitable schools all over the province. He urged the government to declare an education emergency in the country with support of the provinces to deal with some of the alarming issues like the out-of-school children.

He said that though the subject of education had been devolved to the provinces following the 18th Constitutional Amendment, yet the federal government could not abdicate its responsibility for providing quality education to children belonging to the underprivileged communities. The Federal Govt. can further support the cause of education through PPP initiatives in Pakistan and especially in Sindh with leading NGOs like as Green Crescent Trust.

He said that the fact that 4.2 million children had been out of school in Sindh alone had been a serious challenge for the government, a challenge which could be met by the government through dispensing of the budget for the education sector on a transparent and efficient basis.

The GCT CEO said that the per capita income of the country would increase five times if the government worked with dedication to improve the educational standards and to enroll the out-of-school children.

He said that the GCT had begun its journey some 25 years back by establishing schools in such remote and rural parts of Sindh where there had not been even a single school.

Mr. Zahid Saeed said that the GCT had established its very first school in a remote part of the District West of Karachi with one teacher and 50 students. After 25 years the enrollment at the schools of the GCT had increased to 29,000 who were being taught by 1,400 qualified teachers, he said.

He said that the aim of the GCT was to increase the number of its students to the 100,000 mark in the next five years.

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