Advocacy Events

SEF's advocacy efforts continually aim to establish linkages that would enrich the work of the Foundation and ensure sustainainability of efforts and SEF's growth as a viable organization not only in the province but also across the country.

Specific event details can be accessed through the links below.

Integrated Education Learning Program Concluding Seminar

The concluding seminar of the Sindh Education Foundation's (SEF) Integrated Education Learning Program (IELP) was held at a local hotel in Karachi on 28 June, 2012. School owners operating primary and secondary schools across the 23 districts of Sindh province were present at the event.

The event was chaired by the Hon'ble Senior Minister for Education and Literacy in Sindh, Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq. He highlighted the entrepreneurs' commitment to the cause of education and assured of continued Government commitment to facilitate them in pursuing their good work. He reassured that the sentiment and the goodwill with which the IELP started, will be continued in the same spirit.

Khawaja Izhar ul Hasan, Adviser to the Sindh Chief Minister, in his address commended SEF's sincere efforts and contribution to spreading literacy across the province. He stressed on the need to work on the qulity of education that goes beyond building a sound infrastructure and appointing teachers. The need is there to enhance the educational quality by training and enhancing academic interventions and improving the administrative management. Members of Sindh provincial assembly, Ms. Kulsoom Chandio, Mr. Bachal Shah, Ms. Shamim Ara and Mr. Mir Hasan Khoso were also present at the occasion.

The SEF Managing Director, Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali while speaking to hundreds of stakeholders gathered at the seminar said SEF will not turn their backs on the 150,000 children studying in the IELP schools and are already working on acquiring fresh funds for the program. Programmatic presentations were made by the program staff to share the highlights of implementation and targets achieved.

Treasuring Childhood 'A Dialogue on Addressing Child Labor in Pakistan'

The Sindh Education Foundation organized a Dialogue on addressing Child Labor in Pakistan under its continuing Child Labor Education Program. CLEP works to promote self-development of working children through education and health interventions and skills enhancement.

The forum, held on June 26, 2012, invited government officials, policy makers, educationists and NGO representatives to discuss issues faced by the working children in the manufacturing, construction, wholesale and retail trade which includes harsh and hazardous work environments, physical abuse, poor health and nutrition and inaccessibility to educational facilities. The means to alleviate the problem were also discussed in order to provide children a chance to a safer, higher quality of life. Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali, MD SEF, addressing the forum highlighted SEF's efforts in providing free of cost and flexibly timed educational, recreational and health services to working children through its Child Labor Education Program.

A panel comprising of Ms. Zubeida Mustafa (Senior Journalist), Dr. Habiba Hasan (Pediatrician & Human Rights Activist), Mr. Karamat Ali (Director, PILER) and Mr. Salam Dharejo (Country Coordinator, Terre Des Hommes) discussed the issue of child labor in the country and presented solutions for addressing the plight of working children. The panel highlighted that child labor can be a result of multiple factors including parents' poverty, illiteracy, socioeconomic scenarios, poor education infrastructure, low level of awareness and high unemployment rate. It was highlighted that education and training is an essential measure to eradicate poverty and address child labor issues. The panelists also stressed the need to analyze the policies and programs on child welfare and development and the need for multiple sectors to work in close coordination for achieving a nurturing environment for the children of the country.

Stakeholders' Meeting Strengthening Public Schools – New Avenues in Public Private Partnership

Representatives from the private sector participated in an advocacy event organized by the Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) to highlight its pioneering Adopt-a-School Program. Held on June 19, 2012, the program has mobilized private sector support for public school reform and undertaken more than 250 successful adoptions benefiting thousands of children belonging to marginalized areas of Sindh. Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali (Managing Director, SEF) and Aziz Kabani (Director, SEF) introduced the school adoption process and during the session highlighted areas of quality enrichment for enhancing students' learning outcomes. The first session addressed the present school adopters and the challenges and responsibilities were highlighted during a panel discussion. The panelists comprised school adopters including Former Governor, General (Rtd.) Moinuddin Haider, Mr. Agha Shahid from PEN and Abdul Wahid Uqaily (Consultant) as well as Director British Council, Mashood Rizvi and DO (Education) Farahnaz Riaz. The panelists presented key insights and practical solutions to enhancing the public education system by increased partnership with the private sector.

A dedicated second session invited the private sector to undertake school adoption. Contributions were invited through the donation of time, expertise and resources for improving school environment and implementing child-centered pedagogy in government schools. The potential adopters and the SEF management had a candid interactive discussion where details and dynamics of the school adoption process were discussed. SEF stressed that nurturing the future of children requires great dedication, responsibility and conscientiousness and highlighted that the reward of changing lives on such a scale has few substitutes. Diverse segments of society including concerned citizens, social sector organizations, educationists and representatives of the private sector were present at the forum.

Teaching Accelerated Learning Programs Effectively 'A Session with RBCS School Teachers'

SEF acknowledges that teacher input is key to a successful school environment that promotes student-centered learning. To highlight how teachers can effectively enhance learning in children, sharing of experiences of academic and administrative staff can bring to fore real success stories. Lessons learnt at the field level can also help improve future program strategy.

The Sindh Education Foundation organized a forum for the teachers of the Rural Based Community Schools (RBCS) Project so they could share their experiences of implementing an accelerated learning program for out-of-school children in Sindh. Half-day sessions in each of the 10 RBCS Project districts (namely Hyderabad, Jamshoro, Dadu, Qamber- Shahdadkot, larkana, Sukkur, Khairpur, Sanghar, Mirpurkhas & Karachi) were conducted from April 23 to May 8, 2012. More than 500 participants across the districts attended the sessions.

The events were coordinated with facilitation of the local implementing partner organization in the target districts. The sessions provided a platform to discuss success stories and the challenges faced in teaching a fast-track curriculum. The sessions have aimed to share and build a common understanding and appreciation of effective class management dynamics to enrich program implementation in the future.

Launch of Jail School Project at Sukkur

Education is a vital component of any society's development. The Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) aims to promote access to quality education for the marginalized children and communities across the province. In line with this vision, SEF has initiated a small scale intervention for juvenile delinquents - one of the most vulnerable groups who are in dire need of educational access.

The Sindh Education Foundation launched the Jail School Project for the juvenile inmates on the 12th of December, 2011 at the Central Jail, Sukkur. Over a hundred people were in attendance which included government officials, police representatives, media personnel, civil society members and senior management as well as regional staff of the Sindh Education Foundation.

Mr. Ayaz Soomro, the Sindh Minister for Law and Prisons, chaired the launch event for the first ever formal educational facility in a prison. Mr. Soomro commended the dedication and untiring efforts of Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali (Managing Director, Sindh Education Foundation, Government of Sindh) in improving the quality and outreach of education in Sindh. He stated that the initiative of providing a proper educational curriculum was needed and much appreciated and called for the Sindh Education Foundation to open more schools in other prisons across the province. The minister said that the prison was supposed to reform the criminal element of society and there was no better way for reformation than education.

Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali, through a video message, talked to the juvenile inmates and urged them to avail this opportunity to better themselves through the benefits of education. She stated that the SEF will do its utmost to provide quality education to them and to do so is providing all facilities including school bags and books for the children. Furthermore, she said that she hoped that the children learn while in this project and become not only a boon for their family and society but also for their country. She even encouraged the children to write to the Foundation in regards to their educational progress and said that SEF will respond to their letters and highlight their efforts in its publications.

Jail superintendent Qazi Nazir Ahmed said that the jails needed an initiative like this where the children could get a chance to learn and to develop. He stated that lack of education and ignorance was the root cause of each and every ill in the society and the first step to rehabilitate the prisoners is education. Â He said that he is expecting to see really positive outcomes resulting from this initiative.

Mr. Aziz Kabani (Director, Sindh Education Foundation) stated that education was a fundamental right of every child and that the children in prison had as much right to an education as anyone else. He said that it would be a great misgiving if these children are not provided the same level of education as afforded to others and we need to ensure that this does not happen. He said that SEF has initiated the project with the hope that when these children are released from prison, they take the light of education and use it to benefit their society. He stated also that SEF has plans for opening other schools amongst prisons across the province as per Minister Ayaz Soomro's request.

The Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Police-Sukkur Region, Dr. Ameer Ahmad Sheikh stated that education is essential for the reformation of prisoners present in the jail. Mr. Adnan Mobeen (Senior Manager, SEF) gave a brief introduction on SEF's initiatives and explained the project's curriculum in detail to the audience. The MOU was signed between SEF and the Superintendent Sukkur Jail and then presented to Minister Ayaz Soomro.

Children who were interviewed at the occasion responded that this was a great prospect for them to educate themselves. They said that they were very excited about this project and could use this opportunity for self development and rejoin the society at an even better standing than what they possessed when they went into prison.

SEF announces support to 185 new private schools in Sindh under PPRS Project Phase 3; Round 1

The Sindh Education Foundation, Government of Sindh, in collaboration with the Reform Support Unit and the World Bank launched the 'Promoting Private Schooling in Rural Sindh (PPRS) Project' in 2008-09. The Project aims to establish 1,000 new private schools across 10 districts of Sindh. The first 2 phases of the project saw the establishment of 300 new private schools. Assistance to 185 new schools was announced during a ceremony held in Karachi on October 29, 2011. The event was attended by around 300 participants comprising newly selected school entrepreneurs, representatives from non-governmental organizations, school administrators, government officials, media, educationists, corporate sector personnel and members of civil society organizations.

Dr. Mohammad Memon (Head, Aga Khan University - Institute for Educational Development) chaired the event as Chief Guest. Dr. Momon lauded the vision and extensive efforts of SEF under the dynamic leadership of Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali. He commended the PPRS Project model for not only bringing education to the more distant parts of Sindh but also in galvanizing the much needed private sector involvement in improving educational facilities in the province. He added that the success of the project was evident in the results shown by the impact evaluation carried out by the World Bank.

Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali (MD,SEF) highlighted the PPRS Project as one of SEF's successful public private partnership initiatives supported by the Government of Sindh that has extended access to quality education facilities for the marginalized children and communities of Sindh. She congratulated the 185 newly selected school owners and invited their support in the unified efforts for education. Prof. Anita stated that the PPRS Project is an unprecedented initiative in SEF's history as far as financial magnitude, outreach and beneficiaries are concerned.

PPRS Project Coordinator presented a detailed overview of the Project and key intervention details. She stated that the PPRS Project provides per-student subsidies to private entrepreneurs to set up and operate coeducational primary schools in underserved rural communities in 10 disadvantaged districts of Sindh. The schools also receive technical assistance in the form of teacher training, textbooks, and learning materials. She announced that the third phase of the Project will add 700 additional schools to the PPRS portfolio and out of these 185 applications have been selected in Round 1 and announced at this event. Mr. Dushaynt Raju (Senior Economist, The World Bank) praised the PPRS Project and the efforts of Sindh Education Foundation. He stated that the Project was one of the most innovative initiatives present today in the developing world. He stated that the success of the earlier phases of PPRS has been remarkable both in terms of increasing the outreach and enhancing the quality of the education imparted to the marginalized children. Mr. Raju also praised the cost effectiveness of the Project model and said it was an achievement to be proud of.

Ms. Mariam Adil (Impact Evaluation Manager, The World Bank) congratulated the newly selected entrepreneurs and the SEF for yet another milestone step towards furthering education to underserved communities. Importantly, the Project has produced large gains in child achievements especially in learning of Mathematics and local language. She added that students from PPRS Project schools out-performed not only the out-of-school children but also the students enrolled in other local schools in the vicinity when tested.

An informal question answer session was held between the audience and the SEF management after which the 185 selected school localities were awarded their offer letters.

Adult Education Program awards Certificates to women learners

Women empowerment plays an important role in the development of the country. The Sindh Education Foundation Government of Sindh's (SEF) Women's Literacy and Empower Program (WLEP) envisions 'the creation of a world that is just, equitable and peaceful in which women are equal partners in determining the direction, and governance of the societies for the benefit of all.'

Learners and teachers of the WLEP attended a certificate distribution ceremony organized by SEF on 30th of November, 2011 at a local hotel in Karachi. A total of 200 participants present on the occasion comprised NGOs, civil society members, government officials, media personnel, educationists and representatives from the corporate sector.

WLEP's integrated curriculum implemented across the women's literacy and empowerment centres is aimed at addressing several key areas of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) including primary health service, early childhood education, and women's economic empowerment through teaching and vocational skills. WLEP conducted assessment papers in 23 WLECs; 405 learners attempted the examination out of which 300 learners cleared the exam. The Ceremony saw certificates being handed out to 76 of the 300 qualified learners who have met literacy levels according to the provided curriculum. Additionally 24 learning facilitators from WLEP who have played a key role in implementing the vision of the program and achieving the targets also received certificates.

Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali (Managing Director, SEF) extended heartfelt congratulations on behalf of the Foundation to all the qualified learners and appreciated the efforts of the learning facilitators. Stressing the key role of the WLEP, Prof. Anita shared the challenges faced and also the successes SEF has had in increasing educational access for social and economically marginalized groups in Sindh, particularly the adult women.

Eminent Chief Guest at the Ceremony, Dr. Habiba Hasan, a pediatrician by profession and a women's rights activist, stated that the commitment and tireless efforts for women empowerment made by the SEF under the guidance and supervision of Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali  are to be lauded and without a doubt a boon to this nation. She added that WLEP initiative has not only empowered women and provided them with opportunities unavailable to them before but has also tried to bring a fundamental change in the mindset of people vis-a-vis the equality of women and their crucial role in development of society.

Prof. Rehana Mughni (Program Advisor, SEF) spoke about the latest book 'Dard Kay Rishtay', which is the latest addition to SEF's adult literacy books series. The resource, authored by Prof. Mughni will be used for educating women enrolled in the WLEP. Prof. Mughni highlighted how the adult literacy stories published by SEF facilitate in the development of learners by bringing relevant social issues to limelight and in some cases providing solutions to resolve these for benefiting communities.

Code of Conduct for Employees was also presented at the occasion as set out by the Government's 'Sexual Harassment Act 2010'. SEF has translated the code into Urdu and Sindhi languages and provided these to all the staff members and partner communities. The presentation explained the provisions which the employees are expected to observe for creating a congenial working environment.

WLEP remains one of the Foundation's key interventions aimed at creating opportunities for women at grassroots so that they are equal partners in development. The certificates given to the learners by SEF will enable them for admission in 6th class in formal schools.

Contract Signing for Support to 1200 Private Schools in Sindh

The Sindh Education Foundation has worked with unwavering determination and zeal for the last two decades towards its goal of empowering disadvantaged communities by creating and facilitating opportunities for learning and education. With the support of the Government of Sindh as well as other national and international institutions, SEF has introduced numerous interventions undertaken in the public, private and community schooling sectors. The establishment of effective and replicable quality education models throughout the province is a testament to the Foundation and its partners' efforts in advancing educational excellence and equity in the province. SEF's latest initiative, the Integrated Education Learning Program (IELP) announced support to 1500 private schools across the Sindh province. 9,600 applications for school management/establishment from the Sindh province were received against the Call for Application through advertisement. Out of this 4,500 applicants that matched the selection criteria were short listed and field verification for the same was conducted.

After re-verification, Hon'ble Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah selected through a process of computer generated randomization the schools to be supported through IELP. The Contract signing ceremony for the selected applicants was organized from April 21st to 25th, 2011 at the SEF Head Office in Karachi. Spanning over 4 days, the ceremony invited more than 1000 entrepreneurs who will be managing/establishing 1500 private schools across the 23 districts of Sindh.

Hon'ble Raza Haroon (Minister for Information Technology, Government of Sindh) and Hon'ble Syeda Shehla Raza (Deputy Speaker, Sindh Provincial Assembly) graced the sessions with their presence on the 22nd and 23rd of April respectively. Hon'ble Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq (Senior Minister for Education and Literacy, GoS) presided as Chief Guest on the 25th of April with Hon'ble Jam Madad Ali (Leader of Opposition, Sindh Provincial Assembly) and Mr. Khawaja Izhar-ul-Hassan (Advisor to the Hon'ble Chief Minister Sindh) as Guests of Honor for the occasion.

Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali (Managing Director, SEF) called for school operators to take up this opportunity with full honesty and commitment as they can change the future of thousands of children who will be acquiring education in these schools. Prof. Anita expressed delight especially towards the women entrepreneurs for engaging in IELP.

Mr. Aziz Kabani (Director POR) highlighted the important role partnerships play in synergizing reform efforts in the services sector. He congratulated the program partners from public and private sectors and civil society for support towards creating an enabling environment for education in the province. Mr. Kabani highlighted that financial and technical assistance to 1500 educational institutions under IELP is an excellent manifestation of this commitment. He then invited the school entrepreneurs to play their part in creating a nurturing learning environment and providing a better world for our children. Honorable guests lauded the efforts of the SEF towards promoting lasting public private partnerships for provision of quality education services to marginalized children across Sindh. While addressing the school entrepreneurs, it was highlighted that the contract signing would seal the fate of thousands of children who will be benefited through the interventions and efforts of school operators.

IELP Coordinator, Erum Ahmed, presented the IELP model as one of SEF's primary Public Private Partnership initiatives in Sindh. Details of key intervention areas including financial and technical support to 1500 new/existing private schools were also shared. A detailed overview of school contracts was given to participants after which a formal contract signing between SEF and school entrepreneurs was undertaken.

A Seminar on 'Partnerships for Educational Reform'

Speakers at the seminar 'Partnerships for Educational Reform' organized by the Sindh Education Foundation in Karachi said to promote long-term public private partnerships in order to achieve the Education For All goals. They were speaking at a Seminar to celebrate the Foundation's partnerships over the past two decades showcasing specifically two of SEF's flagship initiatives working with both the public and the private sectors namely the Promoting Private Schooling in Rural Sindh Project and the Adopt a School Program. Hon'ble Pir Mazhar ul Haq, Senior Minister for Education & Literacy, presided the Seminar as Chief Guest and lauded the efforts of the SEF towards promoting lasting public private partnerships for provision of quality education services to marginalized children across Sindh. Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali, Managing Director SEF welcomed the participants and highlighted the important role partnerships play in synergizing reform efforts in the service sector.

The forum launched the 3rd phase of PPRS Project providing per child fee subsidy to 300 private schools presently. The third phase will add 700 new schools to the Project catering to atotal of 250,000 direct beneficiaries across Sindh. Starting out in 2008-9, entrepreneurs for 300 schools under PPRS Project received offer letters for establishing new private schools in 10 districts of Sindh. The event was also a timely opportunity to highlight the efforts of the Adopt-A-School Program (AASP) and its partners for public school reform. The event was attended by 175 participants representing public, private and civil society sectors and distinguished personalities from academica and media.

Hon'ble Minister presented token of appreciation to the School Adopters lauding their invaluable contribution to the cause of education. A highlight of the evening was also screening of a video paying tribute to SEF's partners for their efforts for education reform.

Improving Quality of Education Programme

Concluding Seminar

The Improving Quality of Education Program (IQEP), one of the initiatives of the Sindh Education Foundation catering to educational needs in underserved areas of Sindh, was recently implemented across 30 schools in Hyderabad cluster. On 15 July 2010, the Concluding Seminar for IQEP was organized at a local hotel in Hyderabad. The event invited 150 participants including the Foundation Open Society Institute Pakistan (FOSI) and Pakistan Center for Philanthropy (PCP) who sponsored the program implementation as well school heads and teachers from the 30 partner schools, govt officials, civil society members. Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali (MD, SEF) shared her views about the project through a recorded video message. She highlighted the programmatic milestones and achievements and emphasized that without the collective support of donors, local govt and school stakeholders, timely achievement of programmatic targets would not have been possible. Focused efforts through provision of learning materials, training and capacity building of academic and administrative staff, research & monitoring on key quality education indicators and advocacy for replication of models at the district and provincial levels were carried out through synergizing efforts.

Mr. Sarfaraz Ahmad Rajar, Advisor to CM, GoS, presided as Chief Guest. Representatives from PCP and FOSI congratulated the SEF and the 30 partner schools on a successful partnership for enhancing achievements through provision of learning resources and capacity building. Through 2 years long interventions, the IQEP has laid down important characteristic that can be scaled up and replicated for raising student achievement in schools. Presence of a wide array of stakeholders from policy to practical levels at the Concluding Event in July reaffirmed that public, private and community sector partnerships are a key lever for improving low-performing and failing schools sector in order to ensure access to a high quality education for all.

SEF announces support to 100 new private schools in Sindh under PPRS Project Phase 2

Launch Event of Promoting Private Schooling in Rural Sindh (PPRS) Project - Phase II. The launch event of "Promoting Private Schooling in Rural Sindh (PPRS) Project" Phase II was organized by Sindh Education Foundation in March, 2010 at a local hotel in Karachi. PPRS is SEF's public private partnership initiative supported by the Government of Sindh aiming at increasing access to quality education facilities for the marginalized children of Sindh.

Honorable Pir Mazhar ul Haq, (Senior Education Minister, Government of Sindh), presided the event as Chief Guest and formally launched 100 new private schools as part of PPRS Project Phase 2. The event featured key note addresses by Hon'ble Qaiser Bengali (Advisor to Chief Minsiter, Sindh), Dr. Mohammad Memon (Director AKU-IED) and Ms. Naheed Durrani (Special Secretary, Finance, GoS). The speakers were in unanimous agreement about the declining state of the country's educational standards and suggested different models and techniques to improve the situation.

The key note speeches were followed by a panel discussion that involved Dr. Mohammad Memon, Honorable Pir Mazhar ul Haque, Honorable Sharmila Farooqui (Advisor to Chief Minister) and Lt. Gen (Rtd) Moinuddin Haider (Former Governor Sindh) in a discourse entitled "Quality Education in Public Sector: Need for Innovative Models".

At the end of the seminar, 79 entrepreneurs from 10 districts of Sindh were presented offer letters by the Senior Minister.

District Level Orientation for Integrated Education Learning Program

District level orientation sessions for Integrated Education Learning Program were carried out by Sindh Education Foundation during February 2010. The sessions provided an overview of SEF Portfolio as well as detailed the IELP Program model. Mr. Noman Islam Shaikh (Parliamentary Secretary for Railways), Ms. Sharmila Farooqui (Advisor to Chairman), Barrister Mujeed ul Haq and Mr. Dabra (Advisor to CM) chaired the events in Sukkur, Hyderabad, Dadu and Mirpurkhas respectively.

The orientations were attended by representatives of the Education Department, Government of Sindh and NGOs, civil society representatives and prospective entrepreneurs. Regional Officers SEF presented an overview of the Foundation and its various programs in Sindh while the IELP Coordinator described the program details. A documentary on the IELP informing the participants of the salient features of the Program was also shown. Later, guidelines were provided to the participants about completing and submission of the forms to SEF.

A Discourse on 'State of Education in Sindh and Role of Public Private Partnerships'

Sindh Education Foundation organized an advocacy event entitled "State of Education in Sindh and Role of Public Private Partnerships" on November 23, 2009 at a local hotel in Karachi. The event was attended by over 150 experts and professionals, including govt representatives, private education providers, corporate sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), media personnel, and representatives from the Govt. of Sindh.

Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali (Managing Director, SEF) welcomed the participants, particularly Ms. Naheed Duranni (Special Secretary, Finance Department, GoS), Mr. Munawwar Opal, (Additional Chief Secretary – Development, Planning&Development Department, GoS) and Mr. Mansoob Siddiqui (Director Private Schools, Sindh). Prof. Anita detailed that the forum aims to strengthen linkages with SEF's partners and seeks to reinforce various public private partnership initiatives that SEF is currently leading across the province. Mr. Aziz Kabani (Director SEF) presented a situational analysis of the education sector in the Sindh province and highlighted that out of the 48,000 public schools nearly 50% are dysfunctional while many more struggle to provide a productive learning environment for children. He detailed various educational initiatives currently underway and the Foundation's role in promoting public private partnership to improve quality education in the province. The presentation set the premise for the Discourse session. A group discussion on "How should the private and public sectors work together to deliver quality education in Sindh?" involved all the participants in a meaningful discussion. While participants came from very diverse perspectives, there was a consensus that the government and the private sector must work together to establish relationships to improve the quality and access of education being delivered in the province.

Launch of Early Learning Program

The Early Learning Program (ELP) is the Foundation's initiative for promoting early childhood education in Sindh. Through this program, SEF aims to improve the quality of learning and teaching during the early years by undertaking qualitative reforms and increased community participation in select government schools of Sindh. The program will undertake direct interventions to improve the learning environment for children in 150 schools and increase the use of active learning techniques by teachers in ECD classrooms.

The program was launched by the Foundation on 20th August, 2009 in Karachi. The launch was attended by around 250 participants including ECD practitioners, school teachers; members of the civil society organizations, government officials, educationists and representatives from corporate sector. Hon'ble Pir Mazhar ul Haque, Senior Education Minister, GoS, attended the event as Chief Guest and formally launched the Program. He lauded the Sindh Education Foundation's efforts in propagating quality education initiatives in the province especially among disadvantaged communities.

Professor Anita Ghulam Ali, Managing Director SEF, highlighted the importance of Early Childhood Development in the critical early years of a child's life. She urged that concerted efforts be made by private individuals and government officials alike to improve the ECD provisions for children in the country.

An interactive demonstration was carried out by SEF's training expert, Ali Usman. Titled "A Healthy Learning Environment for Children in the Early Years", the demonstration engaged the audience by portraying how low-cost no-cost materials can be used in classrooms by becoming a part of a proactive teaching session. The forum provided a good opportunity to raise public awareness on the importance of investing in ECD programs.

Launch Ceremony of Adult Education Reader

Apart from its many interventions in the realm of primary education, Sindh Education Foundation has also stressed upon educational and self-developmental opportunities for disadvantaged adult women. In an attempt to fill the void for contextually relevant and integrated learning resources for adult education in the country, "Ujlee Rahein" Qaida and Teachers' Guide has been developed by SEF's Program Advisor, Prof. Rehana Mughni. The launching ceremony of the publication was organized by the Sindh Education Foundation in Karachi on 11th of August, 2009 which was attended by more than 100 participants.

Prof. Rehana Mughni introduced the publication by detailing that "Ujhlee Rahain" Qaida and Teachers' Guide is comprised of theme-based post literacy materials which have been developed in Urdu language for adult women learners and educators. Based on the philosophy of generative curricula, the learning material is indigenous, interactive, learner-centered and promotes the concept of lifelong learning. SEF's technical team also presented a demonstration of the teaching methodologies of the Qaida which further portrayed how the publication will be useful for educating adult women.

The publication was launched officially by Mr. Nisar Khoro (Speaker, Sindh Assembly). Addressing the gathering, the Chief Guest praised the efforts of SEF and its visionary leadership which has continued to make a mark in providing educational provisions for marginalized groups across Sindh province.

Ms. Fehmida Riaz, a well known Urdu writer, poet and feminist of Pakistan, attended the ceremony as the Guest of Honor.

Johnson & Johnson Pakistan (publication sponsors) representatives appreciated SEF's contributions towards female education partially their efforts for making the publication a reality.

SEF announces support to 200 new private schools in Sindh under PPRS Project Phase I

On March 29, 2009, the Sindh Education Foundation organized the Launch Seminar for the "Promoting Private Schooling in Rural Sindh" (PPRS) Project, Foundation's initiative under the Public Private Partnership Component, Sindh Education Reform Program 2008-09. PPRS Project aims to enhance the quality of education and promote long-term public private partnerships through providing per child fee subsidy to 1000 private schools catering to 250,000 direct beneficiaries across 10 districts of Sindh. In the first stage of the pilot phase, a total of 162 entrepreneurs have been short-listed for establishing 200 private schools through a meticulous selection process.

The launch event was attended by more than 500 participants from across Sindh. Hon'ble Pir Mazhar ul Haq (Senior Minister for Education, Government of Sindh) presided the Seminar as Chief Guest and formally launched the new Project. On the occasion the minister also emphasized that the Foundation's commitment to transparency and fairness will be ensured through making SEF an autonomous organization and empowering it to carry out the good work with commitment.

Mr. Mohammad Salim Butt (Deputy Speaker, Azad Kashmir) chaired the session on PPRS Project Evaluation Framework. Mr. Aziz Kabani (Director, SEF), Mr. Noman Siddiqui (Senior Research Manager, SEF) and Mr. Matthew Hoover (World Bank representative) gave presentations that highlighted the salient features and details of the PPRS interventions and process evaluation frameworks. Hon'ble Nisar Khoro (Speaker Provincial Assembly, Sindh) presided the Seminar as Guest of Honor and congratulated SEF on the launch of its first 200 private schools in rural Sindh. The seminar provided a forum for formalizing the partnership, through contract disbursal to the selected entrepreneurs.

Bridging the Gap: Synergizing Efforts for Social Development

A Symposium on Public Private Partnership A symposium on Public Private Partnership for Social Development was organized by the Sindh Education Foundation in Karachi on March 22, 2009. The event titled "Bridging the Gap: Synergizing Efforts for Social Development" was attended by more than 350 participants. The Federal Minister for Education, Honorable Mir Hazar Khan Bijrani was the Chief Guest of the event. Speakers and Session Chairs from Aga Khan University (IED), British Council, City district Government Karachi, Pakistan Petroleum Limited, Engro Chemicals Pakistan Limited, Government of Sindh, Idaara-e-Taleem-o-Agahi (ITA), Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy (PCP), PILER, Shirkat Gah and The Citizens Foundation (TCF) contributed their inputs as panelists for the Symposium.

The Symposium featured discussions on Public Private Partnership for Social Development and advocated for a strong case, particularly to increase corporate sector engagement for improving access to and quality of educational service. Through deliberations and exchange of ideas, the Symposium concluded with recommendations that Public Private Partnerships are an important strategy to strengthen and further the education and social development agenda. It also emphasized the need for harnessing efforts and resources for the successful implementation of PPP at the national level, especially for achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education for All (EFA) targets. The candid and extensive discussion on the role of Public Private Partnership for social development and sharing of the different PPP approaches and best practices indicated a willingness of various sectors for partnering in the development process.

'School & Community: Partners in Learning' Launch Seminar of Rural Based Community Schools Project

The Rural Based Community Schools (RBCS) Project was officially launched on February 24, 2009 in a day-long seminar at Marriott Hotel, Karachi. Honorable Pir Mazhar ul Haq (Senior Minister for Education, Government of Sindh) honored the seminar with his presence as Chief Guest. The seminar was attended by 300 diverse provincial and national audience including practitioners, policy makers, researchers, trainers, teachers and advocates, school stakeholders and program partner NGOs.

The forum provided an introduction to RBCS which is yet another landmark in SEF's enduring journey towards making quality education available to the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children of Sindh. It is also a strong declaration of government's unflinching pledge for providing opportunities of education to all children, especially girls, in areas where little or no educational assistance has yet been delivered. The project would cater to a minimum of 15,000 direct beneficiaries comprising students, teachers, parents and NGO staff through the 250 rural based community supported schools across 10 districts of Sindh.

The seminar marked the significant formalization of partnerships with grassroots NGOs through contract disbursal to the ten implementing partner organizations. Honorable Shazia Atta Marri (Information Minister, Government of Sindh) also attended the seminar as the Guest of Honor. She launched SEF's community magazine 'Sujaag' (meaning awakening) and commended the Foundation's efforts in engaging with communities for achieving grass roots sustainability of educational initiatives.

Technical Committee Meeting on Early Childhood Development

Sindh Education Foundation organized the second Technical Committee Meeting on Early Childhood Development in December 2008. The Committee was initially formulated and subsequently notified by the Secretary, Education & Literacy Department, Government of Sindh, in 2007. The Technical Committee on ECD is an important forum for advocacy that aims to provide an opportunity to government and civil society partners to share their respective roles, challenges and lessons learnt in promotion of ECD and ECE for children and put forth recommendations for greater synergies and enhanced government support for ECD initiatives in the province.

The technical committee meeting held on 31st December 2008, was organized as part of the Releasing Confidence & Creativity (RCC): An Early Childhood Development Programme. The forum brought together representatives from the Government and civil society sectors to share their respective work on Early Childhood Development, highlight challenges and lessons learnt in promotion of ECD and ECE for children and put forth recommendations for the Technical Committee's membership and role in creating greater synergies and government support for ECD programmes in the province.

Launch Seminar of 'Improving Quality Of Education Programme'

The 'Improving Quality of Education Programme (IQEP)' was officially launched in a Seminar organized at Crown Hotel, Hyderabad on December 18, 2008. The Seminar was chaired by Syed Qamar-uz-Zaman Shah, President, Chambers of Agriculture, Sindh, and attended by 130 participants comprising school stakeholders, practitioners, government officials, private sector representatives, civil society members, programme partners and media.

During presentations the three programme partners i.e. SEF, Pakistan Center for Philanthropy and Foundation Open Society Institute, Pakistan, emphasized the critical role that public and private sector partners can play in educational reform. PCP's role in this quality education programme was highlighted as ensuring coordination between program partners and stakeholders, monitoring of the activities and reporting progress to donor. FOSI representative in Pakistan explained that IQEP is FOSI's pioneering initiative in Pakistan and it is extending monetary as well as technical support to the IQEP for improving educational outcomes for children. SEF being the key implementation partner invited support and commitment of schools and local government counterparts for ensuring timely achievement of programme targets under the intervention areas of learning material, training and capacity building, research & monitoring and advocacy. At the end of the seminar, representatives from the 30 target schools also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) as their consent for cooperation throughout the duration of the 2 years of programme implementation.

Concluding Seminar of Road Safety Education Program

Death and injury on the roads is the world's most neglected public health issue. An estimated 1.2 million people around the world were killed and 50 million injured in the first year of the 21st century - not by wars or diseases or natural disasters - but by traffic accidents. In the light of these upsetting statistics and indicators a number of influential Government officials, corporate organizations and educationists all called for strong efforts to educate children and others on the fundamentals on keeping themselves safe on the roads. School's syllabus and curriculum was emphasized as a primary means to educate children. This and many other related recommendations came forth at the concluding seminar of the Road Safety Education Program held in Karachi on July 26, 2007.

The seminar, titled 'Safe Roads Safe Children', sought to mark the achievements of one of Pakistan's most innovative and necessary educational interventions for the well-being and safety of children. The day long event was attended by a range of participants from the civil, corporate, and public sector. The Chief Guest of the event was Dr. Sohrab Khan Sarki, Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination, Government of Sindh. Other distinguished speakers at the event included Mr. Aizaz Ali Khan, Executive Director of the National Road Safety Secretariat, Mr. Faisal Saud, Secretary, Works & Services Department, Government of Sindh Professor Anita Ghulam Ali, Managing Director of SEF, Mr. Aijaz Ali Khan, Director General of RSDD, Former interior minister and former Governor Sindh Sindh Lt. (Retd) Moinuddin Haider, Ex-Governor of Sindh, Mahmood Ali Kazmi of British Petroleum Pakistan and representatives of Shell, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), etc. The Road Safety Education Program plays a very important role as a model that can be adopted, replicated and even expanded to include more schools to teach children skills such as proper road behavior, first aid and other life-saving information in an interesting and engaging manner.

National Road Safety Conference

Road safety is an issue of grave concern as statistics show that worldwide one million people die in road accidents each year. In order to give road safety the attention it deserves, a National Road Safety Conference was held on April 24, 2007 in Karachi during the Global Road Safety Week. The key partners in the National Road Safety Conference were Indus Motor Company Limited, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Road Safety Development Directorate (Govt of Sindh), Asian Development Bank, Sindh Education Foundation and United Nations Road Safety Collaboration.

The Sindh Education Foundation was a vital partner to this conference, as it incorporated road safety in its education program in the year 2006-2007. The conference aimed to bring road safety at the forefront of national public policy and implementation. The conference also advocated the importance of investing in road safety mechanisms for reducing traffic injuries. Eminent government officials were also invited to the conference so that the observations and recommendations could be advocated at the policy level. The role of education sector was highlighted as a medium for developing the necessary skills, attitudes and values that enable pedestrians, cyclists and motorists to drive safely on roads. For a deep rooted behavioral change, a long term intervention strategy in terms of including road safety education as a part of mainstream curriculum was also considered. It was also noted that road safety could be ensured for all road users when there was an effective traffic system that is complemented by firm enforcement. The forum aimed towards creating an integrated support mechanism between various stakeholders including the corporate sector, the health sector, the education sector and the engineering sector for ensuring road safety for all. The forum indeed contributed in raising awareness about the gravity of the issue of road safety and emphasized the need to take action at the individual as well as at the policy level for a sustained initiative.

Global Action Week Celebrated in Sindh

In the year 1990, UNESCO held a conference in Jomtein, Thailand to mark a commitment to achieve Education for All (EFA). Since that conference, every year, in order to reminisce the EFA goals that were set out to achieve, UNESCO celebrates a Global Action Week during April 23-29. In 2007, SEF, with the support of UNESCO, celebrated the Global Action Week in the districts of Larkana, Sehwan and Hyderabad.

The activities during the event aimed to honor teachers and community members from SEF's partner schools. Teachers from SEF's Adopt-A-School Program, Community Supported Schools Program, Fellowship Schools Program, Home Schools Program, Women's Literacy and Empowerment Program and members of the school management bodies shared their experiences in the provision of quality education during these events.

People in large numbers turned out for the event. The chief guest at the ceremonies included Mr. Nasir Ahmed Jamali, DCO Larkana (Larkana), Mr. M. Sajan Mallah, EDO Education Matiari (Hyderabad) and Mr. Sikander Rahpoto, Taluka Nazim Sehwan (Sehwan).

Research Study launched on Review of EFA Policies, Implementation & Impact on the Quality of Education

The Sindh Education Foundation's (SEF) research study entitled "EFA: A Critical Review of Policies, Implementation and Impact on the Quality of Education" was launched at a day long seminar in Karachi on the 26th of March, 2007. Three hundred representatives from various educational, government and non-government organizations participated in the event. The chief guest of the event was the Honorable, Dr. Hamida Khuhro, Provincial Minister for Education, Sindh, who presided over the various presentations and panel discussions. The Honorable Minister stressed that urgent measures have to be taken if Sindh, in particular, and Pakistan, in general, are to meet their commitments enshrined under the EFA declaration by 2015.

Other distinguished speakers at the forum included, Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali (MD, SEF), Najma Sadeque (Executive Director, Shirkatgah), Haris Gazdar (Senior Social Researcher, Collective Institute for Social Sciences), M. Ali Memon (Director, AKU-IED), Ichiro Miyazawa (Chief Education Specialist, UNESCO, Pakistan), and Prof. Abbas Hussain (Director, Teachers' Development Center). Mashhood Rizvi, of the SEF, cautioned that the objective of meeting EFA targets should not be reduced to a merely quantitative and mechanical exercise, but should instead encompass a holistic approach to education with a special emphasis on focusing on the quality of education being imparted. Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali seconded this analysis and stated that 'Education for All' had instead been merely reduced to 'Literacy for All.' The central message of the event by SEF was to press the government and the donor and NGO community to intensify its focus on meeting EFA objectives by 2015.

Research Study launched on 'Documenting Educational Innovations'

The official launching of the research study, Documenting Educational Innovations, was conducted in a series of seminars in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi on the 20th, 23rd and 28th of December, 2006 respectively. A host of prominent personalities and eminent practitioners from both the state and non-state sectors were invited as part of a select panel to address the participants of the seminars. In each seminar some of the salient features and recommendations of the report were shared with the panelists and participants by the Associate Director of the Sindh Education Foundation (SEF), Mr. Aziz Kabani. This was preceded by an introduction of SEF and the research awarding agency, the Commonwealth Education Fund (CEF) in which some of the achievements of both organizations were shared with the audience.

The Islamabad seminar was attended by the Honorable Federal Minister for Education Lt- Gen (Retd.) Javed Ashraf Qazi, who was also the Chief Guest, Ms Tehseen Syed, Senior Social Sector Specialist at the World Bank, Ms. Shehnaz Wazir Ali, Executive Director of the Pakistan Center of Philanthropy (PCP), and Mr. Javed Hasan Aly, Team Leader, National Education Policy Review Team of the Ministry of Education. The panel was chaired by the Managing Director of SEF, Professor Anita Ghulam Ali. The keynote address was given by the Chief Guest, Lt- Gen (Retd.) Javed Ashraf Qazi. He thanked SEF and CEF for their initiative in launching this study, which he said came at a crucial juncture. The Government he said was in the process of revamping the education system and was presently involved in creating a new curriculum and redefining the priorities of the public education system.

The Lahore seminar was attended by a host of prominent personalities and practitioners. The Chief Guest of the seminar was the Honorable Provincial Minister for Education, Mian Imran Masud and the panel was chaired by the Guest of Honor, prominent industrialist and member of the civil society, Syed Babar Ali. Other panelists included, Bela Jamil, Chairperson of Idara-e-Taleem-o-Agahi (ITA), Ms. Fareeha Zafar, Director of Society for the Advancement of Education (SAHE), Ms. Arefa Syeda Zahra, renowned academic and educationist, and Dr. Shahid Siddiqui, Professor and Head of the Centre of Applied Linguistics at the Lahore School of Economics. The keynote address of the ceremony was given by the Chief Guest, Mian Imran Masud. Mr. Masud expressed his profound appreciation of the study and the efforts of SEF and CEF in furthering the cause of education. He candidly elaborated on the problems faced by the Ministry of Education, Punjab in addressing issues related to infrastructure, relevance, monitoring, accountability and quality and highlighted some of the steps that the Punjab Government had taken during his tenure to improve the performance of the public sector.

The last Seminar in Karachi was attended by the Honorable Provincial Minister for Education, Dr Hamida Khuro, who was also the Chief Guest of the Seminar, Lt. Gen (Retd.) Moinuddin Haider, who is a former minister and an eminent member of the civil society, Mr. Abbas Hussain, a renowned educationist, Zubeida Mustafa, a prominent educational correspondent for Dawn, Dr. Adeeb Rizvi, Director of Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplant (SIUT), and Ms. Fatima Surriya Bajiya, a prominent intellectual and playwright. The panel was chaired by the Managing Director of SEF, Professor Anita Ghulam Ali. The Honorable Minister and Chief Guest, Dr. Hamida Khuro in her opening address lauded the achievements of SEF and Commonwealth Education Fund (CEF) in conducting this research study, and remarked that the government should work in collusion with the civil society in achieving optimal results.

'Ensuring Road Safety for All' Launch of Road Safety Education Program

The Road Safety Education Program was officially launched at the provincial level at a seminar organized by the Sindh Education Foundation on 27th November, 2006 in Karachi. The seminar consisted of speeches and presentations from SEF, Road Safety Development Directorate and the Works & Services Department, Government of Sindh.

Representing the Hon'ble Chief Minister, Government of Sindh, Dr. Ghulam Arbab Rahim along with Mr. Irfanullah Marwat, Minister for Mines and Minerals presided the event. Mr Ajaz Ali Khan, Director General of the Road Safety Development Directorate (RSDD) and Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali (MD, SEF) officially launched their collaborated effort to educate thousands of children in high traffic areas of Sindh.

Presentation on SEF's role in the program stressed the importance and benefits of having essential road safety information integrated into the mainstream curriculum. Mr Jukka Isotalo, Chief Technical Advisor to the Sindh Road Sector Development Program and Mr. Tom Granberg, Senior Consultant, Transportation/Road Safety stated in their presentations that many countries worldwide have implemented road safety education as part of their school curriculum and it is extremely commendable that Pakistan is taking a step in the right direction. However the need for collaboration of all government departments, the media, the private sector and the masses to ensure a change towards a road safe environment for all citizens is essential, Mr. Isotalo stressed.

The event was attended by 300 people from various walks of life which included teachers, parents, government officials, officials from donor organizations & corporate sector. The RSEP website & newsletter was also officially launched at the event.

Symposium & Conference on Early Childhood Development

Sindh Education Foundation organized a three day symposium on "Rediscovering Childhood" from April 3 to 5, 2006. The symposium was followed by a one day conference on Early Childhood Development, which was held on April 6, 2006. The events aim to improve early education through qualitative reforms and increased participation in children's wellbeing across targeted geographical areas.

During the symposium, discussions highlighted and examined issues of children's self esteem, social development, healthy environment, globalisation and commercialisation of childhood and the effects of media violence on children. The conference deliberated on two broad aims for the Strategies Plan; firstly to improve the quality of early childhood services in Pakistan and secondly to increase participation in quality EC services. It was also proposed that EC policies should be enhanced at the national level, and systems should be changed, so that they are better equipped to support the contributions made by parents and teachers to children's early learning and development.

The keynote speakers at the conference were Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali (Managing Director, SEF), Ms Norberg-Hodge (Founder and Director of the International Society for Ecology and Culture - ISEC), Ms. Mehnaz Akbar Aziz (Chief Executive of Children's Resource International) and Dr. Khurrum Shahid Malik (President of HOPE Worldwide Pakistan) among others. A performance by Uncle Sargam and his group of puppets concluded the 4-day long proceedings. The interactive theatre proved an excellent way of entertaining and teaching young children and adults the lighter side and more important side of life and society. The conference ended on a positive note as various new proposals were discussed for implementation.

Symposium on 'Raising Capable Children'

The Aga Khan Foundation, Pakistan in collaboration with Sindh Education Foundation organized a symposium on Early Childhood Development from the 22nd till 24th May, 2006. The symposium was held in Gilgit and was sponsored by USAID. The aim of the symposium was to discuss the dramatic effects of early childhood program on young children and their families and community. Various objectives were put forth in the symposium, some of which included encouraging community and parental involvement in ECD efforts inside and outside the classroom; develop technical competencies for ECD in teachers, school officials and NGOs in RCC communities and facilitate a network of concerned parties, in which policy dialogue and coordination, advocacy, resource mobilization, and sharing of best practices can occur. Another focus of this symposium was to address curriculum and assessment issues related to the education of young children, and discuss ways schools can change to become ready for children. There was also a consensus on the view that the traditional scope and sequence approach to curriculum with its emphasis on drill and practice of isolated academic skills does not reflect current knowledge of human learning. Furthermore, it fails to produce students, who possess the kind of higher order thinking and problem solving abilities that are needed in the 21st century. The participants suggested that curriculum and assessment should be based on the best knowledge of theory and research about how children develop and learn, with attention given to individual children's needs and interests in a group in relation to program goals.

Some of the notable speakers at the symposium were Ms. Atiya Hussain, Senior Instructor at AKU-IED; Ms Caroline Arnold, Co-Director Education at the AKF; Mr. Edwin Samson, Chief Coordinator of the Adult Basic Education Society and Ms. Mehnaz Akbar Aziz, Chief Executive of Children's Resources International.

Traditional Gatherings Reinforce Societal Values

A valuable tradition that lives on proudly in Sindhi communities, especially those established in the rural districts of the province, is the common practice of conducting kachehris - a gathering of village residents where they are free to discuss everything from their everyday tribulations to newspaper headlines. This casual assembly of people is a custom that has sustained values such as community ownership, reverence for elders, voicing one's opinions, the notion to critically analyze issues and other points of discussion.

The Fellowship Schools Program (FSP) ended the previous year on a high note by conducting a series of such gatherings in its operational clusters in Karachi, Matyari and Khairpur. The first kachehri of the series was held at Goth Kambho Khan Baati, Matyari on December 16, 2005 with the assistance of the Parents Education Committee (PEC) of Sobho Khan Fellowship School. The next two kachehris were conducted at Khairpur, one each in the urban and rural areas of the district. This time the PEC of the Angels Fellowship School took the initiative to organize the event. The FSP team arrived at Darsano Channo to conduct a kachehri in Karachi that featured a fascinating discussion on the poetry of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai. The discourse on societal values also reflected the significance of literacy, learning and the benefits they provide to the community. The elders at the kachehris stated that the importance of these opportunities can be assessed from the fact that a girl who has been through at least a primary level education is more likely to be aware of health issues and would raise a healthy family and send her children to school.

Organizing this gathering created enormous enthusiasm amongst the community members who agreed that conducting such gatherings helped them understand the significance of maintaining cultural roots and traditional ways of life.

A Symposium & Conference on Understanding and Re-envisioning Quality Education

The Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) in collaboration with the Department of Education & Literacy, Govt. of Sindh piloted the 'Quality Assurance Resource Center'. During the pilot phase interventions, the QARC worked on developing a quality assurance framework in education that will enable support to good schooling and learning practices both in the public & private sectors of education.

Creating synergies with other departments and sectors was a key focus of QARC advocacy strategy. As part of this portfolio, the SEF organized a 3-day symposium and one day conference on 'Understanding and Re-envisioning Quality Education'. The event was held in Karachi from the 27th to 30th June, 2005 and brought together all major stakeholders to discuss innovative and pioneering mechanisms of quality support, assurance, and public accountability in education. Educators, administrators, researchers and teachers explored and debated issues pertaining to present state of education in Pakistan and provided insights towards bringing quality education in institutions of learning.

The forum highlighted a range of issues and strategies regarding education and correspondingly the issue of Quality in Education in an effort to develop alternative quality assurance frameworks, quality support systems and accountability mechanisms for the education sector in Pakistan. Furthermore, the Conference also provided a forum to speakers and participants from diverse backgrounds, to share and exchange from their rich and valuable perspectives in diverse fields and also learn from each other's experiences.

Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali (Managing Director, SEF) welcomed educators and teachers from a cross-section of schools across the Sindh province welcomed the participants saying that the SEF wants to redesign Quality Education because Quality Education is inextricably interlinked with the larger issue of human development.

Dr. Hamida Khuro (Minister of Education, Government of Sindh) in her keynote address at the Symposium stressed upon quality as the key to education. For quality education to become a reality, Dr. Khuhro outlined the three basic needs: teachers who can deliver quality education; a new, imaginative syllabus, and delivering an education to children which will make them think. Another speaker, Dr. Rubina Saigol addressed the audience and shared that the formula for developing critical thinking in children through use of inquiry based curriculum. She also stated that the two goals of education are that of preservation and change: preservation of our culture, identity, and other traditional elements that we feel should be preserved and perpetuated; and the change that is needed for us to progress and modernize. Dr. Parvez Hoodbhoy stressed that the curriculum must reflect the realities both of the world and of Pakistan. If our goals and the realities are incongruent, there will be no progress, he added. Another noted speaker, Dr. Kaiser Bengali expressed a great deal of concern about quality education and emphasized that true education is about "learning how to learn", through which we should learn how to solve the problems of life.

The forum of the Symposium and the Conference explored the role of education in shaping and reshaping society and education's role as a potent tool for reclaiming values, culture and diversity. Strategies to enhance the capacities of education systems were discussed in order to build and support school learning communities through quality assurance and create a framework of education that promotes organic, nurturing, challenging and free learning for children.

Adopt-a-School Program: Stakeholders Seminar

A stakeholders' seminar titled "Strengthening the Adopt-A-School Program" was organized by SEF in June 2005. AASP, a pioneering public private partnership initiative, seeks involvement and support of private sector to revitalize failing government schools. The school adopters represent a varied mélange of individuals and organizations who are working across Sindh for public school revival and comprise concerned citizens including retired educationists, members of the armed forces and NGOs etc.

The seminar held on 21st June 2005 aimed at increasing the school adopters' understanding of the vision and mission of the Sindh Education Foundation and the program itself. In addition, this seminar was conducted keeping in mind the need for a thriving relationship amongst the stakeholders.

The participants included adopters from various districts of Sindh, concerned representatives from the Department of Education, and dignitaries including the Minister for Education & Literacy and the Governor of Sindh.

Contract Signing & Technical Overview of Existing School Support Program (ESSP)

The Sindh Education Foundation (SEF), Govt. of Sindh provided orientation to the selected partners on technical and legal aspects of the partnership contract to be signed for running of schools under the banner of Existing School Support Program (ESSP).
The partners were selected through a long rigorous process to become a part of the Existing School Support Program, which is endorsed and financially supported by the Government of Sindh with an overall objective to regulate and strengthen the existing private schools and to ensure the sustainability. The program has been launched for supporting the low cost existing schools of the private sector in the province of Sindh that are functioning in the rural, semi urban area and are serving the underprivileged communities. Under the partnership contract, SEF is responsible for the per-child subsidy (tuition fees), content-based and general professional development of teachers, management and leadership training of head teachers, and annual assessment of students. Throughout the contract period, SEF would provide guidance to the partner in order to ensure provision of quality in all aspects. The contract, explained by the technical team of the Foundation, focuses on quality of education, nurturing classroom environment, development of the child, and fair use of the public money which is provided to the partner.

Mr. Fatah Jokhio, Assistant Director for ESSP emphasized on the compliance indicators for the program which include submission of legal deed of plot, land or rent agreement, school development plan, construction / rehabilitation of school, merit-based recruitment of teachers and head teachers, submission of student profiles , provision of books by SEF and periodic visits to monitor the school progress. Addressing the gathering, SEF Managing Director, Naheed S. Durrani showed concern regarding prevalent illiteracy rates in the province and said that ″It is an alarming condition but still all is not lost and she emphasized that it is everyone’s responsibility present at that moment to disseminate quality education which only required passion and resolve.″ She added that ″The world is changing faster than ever before and it is important that we prepare our children for tomorrow which needs us to instill children with qualities like confidence, flexibility, adaptability and critical thinking″.

SEF Oriented selected partners on technical and legal aspects

The Sindh Education Foundation (SEF), Govt. of Sindh oriented the selected partners on technical and legal aspects of the partnership contract to be signed for establishment, and running, of middle and high schools in Sindh under public-private partnership model.

Technical and Orientation Session with School Operators Selected under PPRS (Phase VI)

A technical and orientation session with the selected school operators was organized on June 24, 2016 in Karachi under the Promoting Private Schools in Rural Sindh (PPRS), a public-private partnership scheme of the Sindh Education Foundation. The event was organized to orient the newly selected school operators on the program’s philosophy, mechanisms, etc. Special emphasis was led on registering at the outset of the contract the quality indicators set by the SEF for schools across Sindh in terms of academics, infrastructure and hiring of teaching staff.
The agenda of the program include separate, comprehensive presentations on SEF, PPRS, Teachers Professional Development, and Assessment Unit. A special presentation was conducted on guidelines on development of learning environment and purpose-built infrastructure including spacious classrooms and playground for outdoor games. SEF Managing Director, Ms. Naheed S. Durrani said that SEF would celebrate 2016-17 as the ‘Year of Quality’ when strong measures would be taken to ensure quality of infrastructure and of learning environment in school. “SEF envisions ‘new generations schools’ which host a vibrant school environment, and qualified, well-selected teachers and head teachers, having availability learning material and other required resources including playgrounds and ICT supplements for teaching, etc.,” she said. Advocating for revamp of culture in schools, she further added, “schools culture needs to be changed to student-centered where relationship between school operators, teachers and head teachers, and students is as healthy as possible. We want classrooms where students share the larger chunk of activities.” Ms. Durrani informed that audience that the SEF’s plans to establish ‘Professional Development Centers’ at its regional offices across Sindh where continuous trainings – scheduled and on-demand – would be conducted by the trainers from the SEF’s Learning Support Unit. Important clauses from the partnership contract were read out and explained by the team to bring the operators on the same page as Program team when it comes to quality standards.
SEF’s Learning Support Unit presented a theme-based roleplay to demonstrate how the attitude of the school operators sow the seeds of progression and development of the society, or regression therein.
Cheques of advance subsidy were disbursed among the school operators at the end of the event to support establishment of primary schools.
In Phase VI of the Program, contracts have been signed for establishment of 617 primary schools with 247 school operators under PPRS in 18 intervention districts of the province, which would bring about 200,000 out-of-school children into schools in the academic year 2016-17.

Orientation to IELP Schools Operators on SEF-acknowledged Standards for Schools

"The essential role in improving, and maintaining, the quality of education in a school is that of the head teacher as it is her or him who moderates administrative and academic functions of the school,"said Ms. Naheed S. Durrani, Managing Director, SEF while speaking at an orientation to IELP school operators on January 04, 2016 at Hyderabad. "We want to upgrade our schools supported under different programs to compete with private schools from urban areas and, for this purpose, we are investing millions of rupees annually on per-child subsidy and professional training of teachers of the schools. We are also in the phase of introducing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in classrooms and for assessment of teachers and students."

The Integrated Education Learning Program (IELP) is Sindh Education Foundation's large scheme in terms of outreach, covering majority of Sindh's districts as its target area. The Program is successfully supporting 405 schools across the province.

Recently, contracts have been signed with newly selected school operators for establishment of schools across Sindh. In order to acquaint them with the program philosophy and quality standards as set out in the school contracts, comprehensive orientation sessions were arranged on Monday, January 04, 2015 at 06 district clusters in Sindh simultaneously.

Under the dynamic leadership of the senior civil servant, Ms. Durrani, who joined the SEF in early 2015 as the Managing Director, a new, improved vision for the Foundation has been carved out which outlines the standards for quality in school infrastructure, physical environment, teachers’ qualification, teaching methodology, facilities for students as well as teaching and non-teaching staff in the school premise.

Members from SEF management and program teams conducted orientation sessions at selected venues in, each, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Dadu, Shaheed Benazirabad, Larkana, and Sukkur region.

Ms. Naheed S. Durrani (Managing Director, SEF) headed the session held at Hyderabad and explained in detail the Foundation’s new vision for free quality education in Sindh in compliance with the Article 25-A of the Constitution of Pakistan which states: "The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years in such a manner as may be determined by law."

A detailed presentation was given outlining ‘guidelines’ on Schools Management, Shared Roles and Responsibilities of School Operators and Head Teachers, Teacher Deployment and Development, Teaching and Learning, Classroom Management, Early Childhood Education, and Schools Infrastructure and Environment as envisaged by the Foundation.

Special emphasis was laid on facilities for students and teaching staff including spacious classrooms, playground, common rooms, separate toilets for female and male students, and on teachers’ professional capacity and use of ICT as teaching aid.

To help the school operators in preparing formats for their schools, templates for necessary school formats were also shared with them. At the end of the sessions, photos of some of the SEF supported schools were also displayed depicting model schools as example.

The presentation which was projected at the sessions can be viewed on and downloaded from for reference.

World Teachers’ Day 2015 - A Tribute to Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali (S.I.)

Sindh Education Foundation, Govt. of Sindh celebrated World Teachers’ Day 2015 as a tribute to one of the great teachers that Sindh has produced, Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali (S.I.), who was also the founding manager of the Sindh Education Foundation, Govt. of Sindh. The ceremony was held on October 05, 2015 at a local hotel in Karachi (Sindh).
Honourable Nisar Ahmed Khuhro (Sr. Minister, Education & Literacy and Information, Govt. of Sindh), Honourable Dr. Fazlullah Pechuho (Secretary, Education & Literacy Department, Govt. of Sindh), Dr. Kaiser Bengali (Prominent Economist and Advisor to CM Balochistan), Mr. Aijaz Ali Khan, Additional Chief Secretary (Development), Ms. Naheed S. Durrani (Managing Director, Sindh Education Foundation, Govt. of Sindh), and representatives from Reform Support Unit, World Bank, USAID, Education Fund for Sindh (EFS). Several students, teachers, and school operators also participated in the event from across Sindh.
SEF rewarded the successful teachers, students and schools who secured distinction in among the SEF-assisted schools across Sindh. Three types of awards were given out in this regard:

  1. Chairman SEF (Chief Minister) Award for Best SEF-assisted School
  2. Vice Chairman (Senior Minister for Education & Literacy) Award for Outstanding Performance by Students in Assessment, and
  3. Late Professor Anita Ghulam Ali (S.I.) ‘Teachers’ Excellence Award’

We wholeheartedly congratulate the winners of the awards in each category:

Chairman SEF (Chief Minister) Award

[For top school: Shield + Rs300,000; for others: Shield + Rs250,000 as token of appreciation]

  1. Bright Future Model School (Faiz Ganj, Khairpur)
  2. Al-Saif Public School (Mirwah, Khairpur)
  3. Bismillah Public School (Miro Khan, Qambar Shahdadkot)
  4. Tahira Public School (Kot Diji, Khairpur)

Vice Chairman (Senior Minister for Education & Literacy) Award

[For 13 students securing 100% marks: certificate + tablet; 456 best performing students will be given gift hampers as nominal value for encouragement.]

  1. Habibullah (Admiral Janjwa Model School, Badin)
  2. Sana (Admiral Model School, Dadu)
  3. Qasim Ali (Masha Allah Public School, Khairpur)
  4. Ilyas Ali (Al Hafeez Model School, Khairpur)
  5. Nazim Ali (Tabassum Model School, Khairpur)
  6. Chaman Lal (Sapna Public School, Mithi)
  7. Dilli Jan (Bismillah Public School, Qambar Shahdadkot)
  8. Sohail (Bismillah Public School, Qambar Shahdadkot)
  9. Haleema Khatoon (Al-Mustafa Public School, Qambar Shahdadkot)
  10. Murad Ali (Shaikh Salamat Public School, Thatta)
  11. Vikram (Shaheed Soreh Badshah, Umerkot)
  12. Muhammad Aamir (Shaheed Soreh Badshah Public School, Umerkot)
  13. Seema (Shaheed Soreh Badshah Public School, Umerkot)

Professor Anita Ghulam Ali (S.I.) 'Teachers’ Excellence Award'

[For top three teachers: Shield + Rs30,000; for other ten best performing teachers, Shield + Rs25,000 as a token of appreciation.]

  1. Ms. Asia Rajper (Tabassum Model School, Khairpur)
  2. Mr. Allah Warayo (Sindh Model School, Qambar Shahdadkot)
  3. Ms. Uzma (Shaheed sorih Badshah School, Umerkot)
  4. Ms. Asia Baloch (Al- Khair Public School, Khairpur)
  5. Mr. Muhammad Khan Katpar (Sachal Model School, Qamber Shahdadkot)

Top Teachers in All Districts

  1. Mr. Rameez Hyder (Al-Ghous Model School, Khairpur Mirs)
  2. Mr. Niamatullah (M.S. Khuhro Public School, Larkana)
  3. Mr. Habibullah (Sindh Model School, Qambar Shahdadkot)
  4. Mr. Akhtar Ali (Ali Danish 2 School, Dadu)
  5. Mr. Niaz Hussain (Indus Bright Future School, Thatta)
  6. Mr. Altaf Ahmed (Indus Vally School, Badin)
  7. Mr. Chetan Lal (Kaga Public School, Mithi)
  8. Mr. Prem Prakash (Shaheed Soreh Badshah School, Umerkot)
  9. Ms. Khairaan (Noor Mustafa Public School, Sanghar)
  10. Mr. Abid Hussain (Shan Public School, Benazirabad)
  11. Ms. Asia Baloch (Al-Khair Public School, Khairpur)

Sindh Education Foundation believes that students, teachers and school operators represent the future of Sindh as a successful entity in terms of quality of education. They are the ones who are laying the foundation of a prosperous and educated Sindh.
We once again congratulate all the successful students, teachers and school operators and wish them the best of luck for their future endeavors as well.

SEF Celebrates International Literacy Day 2012

The Sindh Education Foundation celebrated the International Literacy Day themed 'Literacy & Peace' on September 8, 2012 to help raise public awareness of literacy and its issues. Over a 100 participants comprising educationists, government officials, NGO representatives and media personnel participated to celebrate the International Literacy Day 2012 and to discuss the current state of literacy & education in Pakistan.

In accordance with the year's theme, literacy and education's impact on the state of peace and harmony in a country were discussed. The panel of experts present at the forum comprised notable personalities such as Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali (SEF), Mr. Abbas Rashid (SAHE), Mr. Arshad Mahmud (NAPA), Ms. Baela Raza Jamil (ITA) and Mr. Karamat Ali (PILER). The panel discussed the impact of literacy on peace and how the situation of the nation can be improved by focusing on education.

Panelists highlighted that literacy is a necessary condition for fostering peace and harmony and that a lot of divisions in the country today can be remedied to a great extent through the power of education. Education's role in encouraging tolerance and advancing the cause of peace were highlighted. Furthermore it was added that though the overall state of literacy in Pakistan was dismal, there were islands of excellence present in the country and people working hard to improve the field of education. The panelists believed that questions need to be raised and asked on the current conditions and not just be borne quietly by the people. They felt that our ability to think, rationalize and imagine is being constricted by today's curriculum and needs to be set free, fostered and nurtured. The panel said this was essential in bridging the gaps that have been created and that the society needs to come together and work towards its own betterment.

Policy Dialogue on Governance of Education

The Sindh Education Foundation in collaboration with the Aga Khan University – Institute for Education Development conducted a Policy Dialogue on the subject of the 18th Amendment to encourage open communication and constructive debate among stakeholders for proposing practical and viable solutions. More than 120 people which included major stakeholders belonging to the field of academics, practitioners working in the field of education and representatives from the Government and media personnel attended the event held on July 10, 2012.

The experts panel presiding at the event comprised Dr. Ishrat Hussain (Dean and Director, IBA), Mr. Javed Hasan Ali (Former Secretary, Establishment Division), Dr. Kaiser Bengali (Applied Economic Research Center, University of Karachi), Mr. Parvez Sehar (Chief Program Manager, Reform Support Unit), Mr. Abdul Wahid Uqaily (MD, STEVTA), Mr. Ehsan Rabbani (CEO, The i-Care Foundation), Capt. (R) Dr. U.A.G. Isani (Vice Chancellor, Iqra University), Dr. Mohammad Memon (Director AKU-IED), Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali (MD, SEF) and Dr. Javed Leghari (Chairperson, HEC).

The panelists stated that the 18th amendment should not be viewed as a challenge but as a great opportunity. They agreed that the crucial issue is not financing but governance and in that regard the province of Sindh has a lot of room for improvement. Need for government to work with NGOs and the private sector was emphasized in order to help improve the situation by delegating the management of the schools to them. The panelists felt that there is a dire need to have capacity to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate at the local level, the lack thereof being primarily the reason we are not doing well in the field of education. They emphasized on the necessity of significant measures to be undertaken by the government in order to achieve the goal of education for all children as set under the 18th amendment.

2nd Policy Dialogue on Governance for Quality Teachers

The Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) and the Agha Khan University – Institute for Education Development (AKU-IED) held its 2nd Educational Dialogue titled 'Governance for Quality Teachers' at a local hotel in Karachi on 31st December, 2012. Education experts and members of academia gathered together to discuss measures which could be promoted in the field of education and to collectively arrive at some core recommendations and observations (specifically in regards to teachers) that can be forwarded to the relevant policy makers as a roadmap. Solutions were proposed that can be carried forward to the policy level for broader impact to aid the province of Sindh in particular and other provinces in general.

The panel at the event included esteemed persons such as Mr. Taj Haider (Policy planner and founding member Pakistan Peoples' Party), Dr. Zubair Shaikh (Executive Director, STEDA), Mr. Asghar Soomro (Advisor, Communication and Outreach Social Policy and Development Centre), Mr. Karamat Ali, (Executive Director, PILER), and Ms. Baela Raza (Founder, ITA).

The panelists said that the professional capacity of teachers must be developed in the country and that the latest methodologies and technologies should be used to help enhance the teachers' skill set. The grave issue of ghost employees (teachers drawing salaries without doing the job) in Pakistan was also discussed, which it was believed is now gradually being rectified with the use of technology. There was concern over the issue of politicization in the field of education and was deemed essential to be resolved for further development and progress. The panelists also believed that parents and the civil society on the whole should have higher involvement in the children's education which would undoubtedly help improve the current situation.

Regional Launch of Annual Status of Education Provincial Report (ASER) 2012

The provincial launch of the "Annual Status of Education Report ASER Pakistan – 2012" (ASER) was held in Karachi on January 31st by the South Asia Forum For Education Development (SAFED) managed by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) and Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) along with other partner NGOs. Over 150 people which included major stakeholders belonging to the field of academics, practitioners working in the field of education, representatives from the Government and media personnel attended the event. This was the third Sindh launch of ASER in Pakistan and the report was the most comprehensive one yet. The national survey of education undertaken by over 9,000 youth volunteers covered 252,000 children aged 3-16 across 136 rural and 6 urban districts of Pakistan. Specifically in Sindh, all 23 Districts and 2 Urban Cities were also surveyed.

Since 2008/9, Pakistan through its civil society and expert led groups has been undertaking a rural household based learning survey, called the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER). ASER 2012 is said to be a testimony to civil society's commitment to evidence-based planning and collaborative action with the government. ASER 2012 assists governments, private sector and other research/think tanks with vital information regarding 3-16 years old children and learning outcomes for 5-16 years, the precise age group stipulated under Article 25- A for extending education as a fundamental constitutional right.

Fazal Ullah Pechoho, Secretary Education, presided as the Chief Guest at the event. To discuss the findings and results of the 2012 report in detail, esteemed panelists such as Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali (MD, SEF), Mr. Tanveer Ahmed (CEO, HANDS), Mr. Kaiser Bengali (Economist), Ms. Baela Raza Jamil (Director Programs, ITA), Dr. Haris Gazdar (Senior Researcher, Collective for Social Science Research), Mr. Javed Jabbar (Chairman, JJ media), Ms. Zubeida Mustafa (Senior Journalist) and Dr. Sajid Ali (Assistant Professor, Institute for Educational Development) were invited to the forum.

Those on the panel hoped that the ASER report has a positive effect on the future of education by providing vital information to those in decision making positions. They stated that the report did not cover up anything and showed harsh realities that the country needed to face. The panelists said that the report was a completely citizen led initiative and that it was heartening to see ASER carry momentum on a global scale as well in Pakistan. They greatly appreciated the work and commitment undertaken to compile the nation-wide report and felt that it was an excellent source of information. They stated that the participation of the civil society was essential and can really aid the cause of education.

Public-Private Partnership for Sustainable School Improvement

The 'Adopters' Appreciation Event' was held in Karachi on April 18th by the Sindh Education Foundation to showcase the progress and the achievements attained by its ongoing 'Adopt a School Program'. More than 100 participants, including government officials, adopters and prospective groups from the private sector aspiring to adopt schools, discussed past achievements and future challenges in the implementation of the program. The event brought forward the success stories and highlighted the efforts put in by the adopters, the work, time and money that goes into improving, running an effectively administered school.

Those attending included Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali (MD, SEF), Elahi Bux Baloch (Regional Head, Strengthening Participatory Organizations) and Lt. General (Retd.) Moinuddin Haider. At the discussion, it was felt that the best way the quality of public schooling may be improved and access to it enhanced is through the aid of Public-Private Partnership initiatives such as the Adopt-a-School Program. It was stated that through the commitment and efforts of the AASP adopters so many children have gotten a chance to a better education and that it was an achievement to be proud of. It was also said that it is imperative that proper steps be taken towards successful community developments for the most effective results in the future.

After the discussion the stakeholders were given adopter appreciation shields in honor of their hard work and commitment.

SEF emphasizes the Importance of Early Childhood Development

Educationists, policy makers, NGOs and representatives from the media attended the Seminar on Early Childhood Education (ECE) which was held by the Sindh Education Foundation at a local hotel on June 13th 2013 to discuss child education and to showcase the progress and the achievements attained by its Early Learning Program (ELP). The ELP works on enhancing the physical and learning environment of 150 government schools with special focus on Katchi, Grades one and two and directly benefits over 10,000 children, teachers, parents, caregivers and communities. The Seminar focused on the challenges and achievements of the Program at the grass root level and deliberated upon how to improve the quality of learning and teaching during the early years.

The event hosted esteemed panelists such asMs. Baela Raza Jamil (Director Programs, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Agahi), Dr. Almina Pardhan(Associate Professor, Institute for Educational Development, Aga Khan University), Dr. Shahida Mohiuddin (Associate Professor, Ismaili Tariqah and Religious Education Board), Ms. Mariam Shera (Principal, Froebel Education Centre), Ms. Mahenaz Mahmud (Advisor, Teachers' Resource Centre), Ms. Amima Sayeed (Senior Manager Advocacy & Programme Development Teachers' Resource Centre), Mr. Abdullah Khan (Head of ECD Bridges Rupani Foundation) and Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali (Managing Director, Sindh Education Foundation.

The panel said it was essential to focus on the children for the Nation to progress and a lot more needs to be done in this area. It stated that early childhood is a crucial stage in an individual's life and the failure to invest in ECD can result in development delay and disability as well as inhibit the optimal development and performance of children throughout their lives. It was felt that multi-stakeholder partnership with the parents, teachers and community is the key to Early Childhood Development and to ensure growth and effectiveness there is a dire need for an ECD policy at the National level.

SEF lauds PPRS Entrepreneurs' Efforts

The Sindh Education Foundation held an Appreciation Event for the 'Promoting Private Schooling in Rural Sindh' (PPRS) Project entrepreneurs to acknowledge the dedication and commitment they have towards forwarding the cause of education in the province. Entrepreneurs, educationists, policy makers, NGOs and representatives from the media gathered at a local hotel in Karachi on the 2nd of July for the occasion.

The event also hosted esteemed personalities such as Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali (Managing Director, SEF), Nazia Rabani (President Women Wing, PTI), Prof. Dr. Bernadette Dean (Principal, St. Joseph's College), Sohail Muhammad Ali (Consultant & Trainer), Elahi Bux Baloch (Regional Head, Strengthening Participatory Organization) and Aziz Kabani (Director, SEF)

The Foundation held the ceremony to express appreciation and acknowledge the labors of the entrepreneurs who have worked tirelessly towards the promotion of literacy across Sindh. It urged the entrepreneurs to maintain their efforts of improving educational quality and access in the province. SEF took the opportunity to highlight the critical role of Public-Private Partnerships in education and showcase the achievements the PPRS Project has attained at the local stage. Furthermore, the event focused upon what can be done to improve the ground level realities through discussions on innovative school management and administration practices.

SEF Celebrates International Literacy Day 2013

The Sindh Education Foundation celebrated 'International Literacy Day 2013' on the 9th of September to provide a platform to the stakeholders to share suggestions on how best to improve children's participation in education that will lead to an improved national literacy rate. More than 100 participants, including government officials, social workers, university students and professionals from the public and private sectors, discussed aspects affecting school participation and the ways to retain students so that the dropout crisis could be curtailed.

The panel of experts present at the forum comprised notable personalities such as Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali (Sindh Education Foundation), Dr. Muhammad Memon (Aga Khan University - Institute for Educational Development), Dr. Ahson Rabbani (Aman Foundation), Mr. Jami Chandio (Centre for Peace & Civil Society), Mr. Naveed Ahmed Shaikh (Reform Support Unit), Mr. Wali Zahid (Skill City) and Mrs. Bushra Afzal (The Citizens' Foundation).

The panel stated that education is a basic right of every child and it is the state's responsibility to provide this facility to the children. They said literacy is essential in life because it can broaden ones outlook and help one appreciate the world around. The panel highlighted that literacy enables one to think constructively, work productively, and develop effective and efficient decisions making skills. By developing the ability to read, write and communicate an individual is made capable as a fully functional, socially responsible and financially independent person. The panel felt that even though literacy in Pakistan was far below the mark, there are isles of excellence present in the country and people working hard to improve the field of education. They said that it is imperative that the Government does its utmost to increase the current literacy rate and improve the education sector to enhance the country's standing at the world forum.

SEF Celebrates World Teachers’ Day 2013

There is no stronger foundation for lasting peace and sustainable development than a quality education provided by well trained, valued, supported and motivated teachers. In appreciation of those who give so much in educating and guiding the children, the future generation of the country, an event was held on World Teachers’ Day at a local hotel.

The Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) organized an event titled ‘A Call for Teachers’ on World Teachers’ Day 2013 in Karachi on October 5th, to appreciate and encourage the hard work and commitment teachers put in on a daily basis to bring the light of education to the children. The event served to provide a platform to hold constructive debate amongst stakeholders and experts on how best to solve the issues pertaining to teachers and consequently improve the state of the educational sector. Over 300 people who included major stakeholders belonging to the field of academics, practitioners working in the field of education and representatives from the Government and media personnel attended the event.

Mr. Nisar Khoro, Education Minister, graced the event with his presence. The seminar also hosted a panel of experts which included Ms. Saba Mahmood (Chief Program Manager, Reform Support Unit), Dr. Kaiser Bengali (Economist), Prof. Dr. Bernadette Dean (Principal, St. Joseph’s College), Mr. Wajih Akhtar (Media Development Practitioner), Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali (S.I.) (Managing Director, Sindh Education Foundation) and Mr. Aziz Kabani (Director, Sindh Education Foundation)

Mr. Nisar Khoro said that being a teacher is a highly respected profession and that teachers have more of a responsibility at times towards the development of children than even the parents. Mr. Khoro said that teachers shall be recognized and appreciated even more than before as they so deserve.

The panel stated that teacher absenteeism was a major issue plaguing the education sector and it is a matter that needs to be resolved urgently. It was suggested that to reduce teacher absenteeism, Government school principals should have the authority to hire and fire teachers and be held responsible for the institute’s performance. The panel emphasized on the fact that recruitment of teachers is very important. They said that looking at a teachers’ qualification on paper is not enough and we need to ensure that the candidates also possess the knowledge and skills required to teach. The panel added that there should also be consistent professional development of teachers to ensure they are up to date with the latest teaching methods and approaches. It was stressed that the issue needs to be resolved on a systemic level to resolve the problems faced in regards to teachers.

SEF holds Conference on Adopt-a-School Policy

The Sindh Education Foundation in collaboration with the Education and Literacy Department, Government of Sindh hosted a conference that invited experts in the field of education to discuss the Adopt-a-School Policy and recommend changes if need be. A day-long session was held in Karachi on April 1 to “Revisit and Refine the Adopt a School Model and Examine Other Models of PPPs for school improvement in public sector schools”. The goal of the discussion was to refine and define models of school partnerships for school improvement and optimization in Sindh. Over 60 people which included educationists, school adopters, NGOs and government representatives participated in the event.

The Sindh Education Foundation has been a pioneer in effectively engaging the private sector and communities in government school revival through Adopt-a-School Program. The program facilitates private sector and civil society to adopt public or government run schools and undertake educational improvements for the children. Adopters represent a varied mélange of individuals, organizations, non-governmental organizations, and members of the armed forces. The objective of the AASP conference was to examine in detail the current Adopt-a-School Policy and other options for public school improvement through partnerships (PPPs).

Dr. Fazlullah Pechuho, Additional Chief Secretary of Education & Literacy Department, participated in the event. To discuss the policy in detail, notable personalities such as Baela Raza Jamil, Director Programs for the Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA), Lt. Gen (R) Moinuddin Haider, Former Governor Sindh, Saeeda Leghari, member AASP steering committee, Aziz Kabani (Director SEF) were invited to the forum.

At the discussion, it was said that the education sector faces low enrolment, low learning outcomes, poor governance and poor facilities. It was emphasized focus needs to be on the financing and governance aspect of the AASP Policy and other PPP options to improve the current situation. The panelists felt that retired private individuals can prove to be a great asset in adopting and operating schools and need to be properly motivated to contribute. The educationists said that most important of all, teachers need to be hired on merit basis to ensure that children are given a proper education and that marked improvement shall be observed in the PPP model if this is implemented.

Quality Education for SEF’s IELP Schools

To help enhance quality education and access in Sindh, The Sindh Education Foundation held the event ‘Quality Education for IELP Schools’ at a local hotel in Karachi on April 22nd. Over 100 people which included IELP entrepreneurs, major stakeholders belonging to the field of academics, practitioners working in the field of education and representatives from the media attended the event. The event is part of the district wide activity implemented by SEF to hold workshops in the 7 IELP regions which include Hyderabad, Dadu, Larkana, Sukkur, Shaheed Benazirabad, Mirpurkhas and Karachi.

The activity was initiated to advocate strategies for educational quality enhancement in IELP schools for effective school management and operations. SEF’s Marketing, Advocacy and Publications (MAP) Unit in collaboration with the Integrated Education Learning Program (IELP) Team presented and discussed strategies on how best to improve the learning environment, develop school infrastructure, ensure health and physical safety, and increase school enrolment and teacher retention. The IELP entrepreneurs were stressed upon the importance of providing a safe and healthy learning environment for the students in terms of the curriculum as well as the physical necessities such as drinking water and bathroom facilities. The event also provided a platform for the entrepreneurs to share their experiences with the Sindh Education Foundation and their peers in terms of achievements and challenges faced relating to school management.

The SEF Management stated that the initiative not only ensures provision of free quality education for the marginalized people and communities, but also engages stakeholders to take ownership of these initiatives at grassroots. It was stressed that running IELP schools was not about earning profits but raising the quality of life of the marginalized children of Sindh. SEF said that there are school operators from different backgrounds, with different goals and challenges and it is up to the IELP to bring them all together towards a common vision. The school operators were praised for doing a commendable job despite whatever limitations they had. The Management encouraged the school entrepreneurs to work on the development plans for further improvement of their schools and share them with the IELP team for review.

PPRS holds Contract Awarding Ceremony

The Sindh Education Foundation’s MAP Unit in collaboration with the PPRS team hosted the PPRS Contract Awarding Ceremony in Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Khairpur and Larkana from the 24th to the 30th of June 2014. At the event, entrepreneurs for the newly established PPRS schools were presented contracts and oriented on the policies, procedures and framework of the PPRS program.

The Promoting Private Schooling in Rural Sindh (PPRS) Program entered its fourth phase in which it aims to attract the candidates who have the potential to open and operate schools across the 10 program districts in the province of Sindh.

The purpose of the event was to invite entrepreneurs to be awarded contracts to open new schools in the marginalized areas of Sindh where people do not have access to quality education due to unavailability of schools and poor infrastructure. The MAP and PPRS teams provided an overview on SEF and PPRS and also oriented the entrepreneurs regarding policies and procedures of the program as well as the specific terms and conditions of the contract. Presentations on a model school structure and school development criteria were also shared with the entrepreneurs in order to facilitate them in operating the acquired schools. The PPRS regional teams participated during the occasion and gave a presentation on their role in the PPRS operations. The regional teams also highlighted the importance of providing a safe and healthy physical environment in relation to the maintenance of the school building infrastructure.

Sindh Education Foundation Celebrates International Literacy Day 2014

The Sindh Education Foundation shall be celebrating the ‘International Literacy Day 2014’ on the 8th of September and providing a platform to stakeholders to discuss improving children’s participation in education that will lead to an improved national literacy rate. The SEF teams shall utilize the occasion to promote reading and literacy amongst children and the community and provide an opportunity to listen and learn from the experiences of educators inspiring students across the country.

Events shall be held at Hyderabad and Sukkur in honor of the International Literacy Day 2014 and walks shall be arranged to show solidarity with the cause at Shahid Benazirabad, Mirpurkhas, Larkana and Dadu.

Karachi, September 8: Literacy is a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development. Literacy is at the heart of basic education for all, and essential for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy.

The Sindh Education Foundation celebrated the ‘International Literacy Day 2014’ at an educational institute to provide a platform to the stakeholders to share suggestions on how best to improve children’s participation in education that will lead to an improved national literacy rate. Over a 100 participants attended the event which included government officials, social workers, university students and professionals from the public and private sectors. The theme for the Literacy Day 2014 was ‘Literacy and Sustainable Development’.

Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, (Senior Ministor, Department of Education and Literacy) presided as chief guest at the occasion. The panel of experts present at the forum comprised notable personalities such as Dr. Suleman Shaikh (Chairperson of Thardeep, Rural Development Program), Muhammad Barbur (Founding Member, Exploring Leadership & Learning Association) and Fateh Muhammad Burfat (Director Student’s Guidance Counselling, Karachi University). Dr. Sajid Ali (Assistant Professor Agha Khan University, Institute for Educational Development) was the moderator at the event.

Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said that no country has reached sustained economic growth without achieving near universal primary education. Schools can bring together parents, students, teachers, and government officials, offering services that support and lift up communities and families. Mr. Khuhro stated that education promotes democracy and stability and builds strong communities. He added that education lays the foundation for sound governance and strong institutions, and is not just a building block but a cornerstone of free societies.

The panelists stated that literacy is a key lever of change and a practical tool of empowerment on each of the three main pillars of sustainable development: economic development, social development and environmental protection. Experience and research show that literacy can be a major tool for eradicating poverty, enlarging employment opportunities, advancing gender equality, improving family health, protecting the environment and promoting democratic participation.

The session was followed by a question and answer session between the audience and the panelists.

Sindh Education Foundation Organizes Teachers Conference 2015: Nurturing Future Leaders

Karachi – Sindh Education Foundation organized the Teachers’ Conference 2015: Nurturing Future Leaders as part of its intellectual discourse series, ‘Professor Anita Ghulam Ali (S.I.) Discourse Series’.

The Conference was held at a local hotel in Karachi on January 7, 2015 and aimed at recognizing the role and importance of teachers as agents of change, challenges faced by the teachers at different levels and the needs for capacity building of teachers to improve overall education system of the country. It also aimed at generating healthy debate on key issues in the education sector with special focus on teachers and their crucial role in uplifting, and strengthening, the overall structure of the education sector.

Mr. Aziz Kabani, Managing Director, Sindh Education Foundation welcomed the participants to the conference. In his opening remarks, he said that the name of Professor Anita Ghulam Ali is a name almost synonymous with education in Sindh. From her early days at SM College she endeavored to improve teaching conditions in schools, dedicating her life to the cause of teacher welfare and betterment. Anita Ghulam Ali was an embodiment of lifelong education and her humanistic approach to teaching and learning endeared her to many, and served as a cornerstone of her leadership at the Foundation.

The conference “endeavours to critically analyze the role of teachers in the country”, said Mr. Aziz Kabani, Managing Director, SEF. “Proper development of the country’s human resources starts with its teachers who are indispensible for creating a society that consists of well adjusted, nurtured and productive members”, he added.

The first keynote speaker, Dr. Ishrat Hussain, Dean and Director, Institute of Business Administration (IBA), said that human development is not that teaching should only be taken as a means of livelihood, rather it should have in itself a penchant for learning, moral and social values as well as grasp of modern technology. As teachers themselves, he said, they have learnt that the best way to teach is to inspire students to learn; they can learn by themselves, we can just inculcate the curiosity required for it.

Mr. Tara Uzra Dawood, CEO, Dawood Capital Management expressed that the teachers should not only teach but they should also recognize other students who are passionate about learning and inspire other students to excel ultimately. She said that they are providing scholarships to the girls under the campaign, “Educate a Girl”, in which 1000 girls will provided trainings especially in journalism who are serving in different national and international companies. She said that the voice of the girls is now being heard due to the rise and power of social media where girls don’t need anyone’s permission to say anything to the world.

Dr. Muhammad Memon, a Hamidudin Alkirmani Professor, discussed the concept of Teaching as a Profession: Paying Back to the Society‘. He said that the topic was quite significant considering it relevance in today’s fast-faced world. He discussed the idea of whether we talk about teaching as a job, vocation or technique when we talk about teaching as a profession. He added that the teachers these days follow curriculum strictly and wouldn’t expend their vision and coverage on the subject these days. This is a major flaw in the field of education at large.

Nargis Alvi, Principal, Habib Girls School said that the no presence of Professor Anita Ghulam Ali intoday’s event is sad and inspiring at the same time: it is sad that she is not present here with us and inspiring because the legacy continues in the form of SEF and its intellectual discourses.

She said that the teachers are gospels since child rejects parents ways to do things saying ‘that’s not how our teachers does’. “For child, our post-graduation does not matter, what matters is what teacher says. And if teachers are always right for the child, they should, as a matter of fact, be always ‘right’.”

She encouraged the school management to let teachers also enjoy school life and get informal by having sessions of singing, playing and eating together. It would make, she said, teaching a fun job rather than a dry one.

Dr. Moinuddin Haider, ex-governor, Sindh province spoke as a guest speaker. He related fond memories about his and Professor Anita Ghulam Ali (S.I.)’s interaction and relationship in the past and how it continued till her last days. Saying he learned a lot from her, he said that their relationship was quite of friends. He congratulated SEF to carry her legacy of free quality education for all.

Randy Hatfield, Senior Policy Adviser and Manager Sindh Basic Education Program discussed the idea of ‘Investing in Teachers’ Education: A Response to the Issue of Ghost Teachers’. He said that they tried to solve the issue of ghost teachers and ghost schools in Sindh with the help of the Sindh Government. He appreciated different interventions of Sindh Education Foundation and how they cover different areas of education in Sindh.

Sadiqa Salahuddin, Development Professional/Executive Director, Indus Resource Centre was the second speaker at the second session at the conference. She expressed great affection for Professor Anita Ghulam Ali (S.I.) calling her a ‘family friend’.

She said she could sum up the qualities of good potential teachers in as the ones who have the ability and willingness to learn and ability and willingness to teach at the same time. She hoped that appointing teachers on merit in public sector will boost the capacity of education overall.

Abdul Hameed Memon, Chairman, Board of Governors - Hyderabad Public School and Ex Vice Chancellor, Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur spoke on the topic, Making Teaching More Creative’. He paid tribute to Professor Anita Ghulam Ali (S.I.) calling her ‘a teacher and a saint’. He said that to teach is to be creative; and to be creative is to ‘do more’.

The next keynote speaker was Ms. Zubeida Mustafa, senior journalist, Civil Society’s Response to the Issue of Ghost Teachers. She said that her experience enabled her to say that not all who do not come to school are ‘ghost teachers’. Most of the ghost teachers are political appointees and, that’s why, they did not even commit to teaching in the first place. She stressed on getting the message passed on the community in the vernacular.

Prof. Abbas Hussain, Director, Teachers’ Development Centre discussed the topic, Teachers’ Status in a Neoliberal Economy. A teacher has to face different types of accountability, market accountability, organizational accountability and professional accountability.

He further said he agreed to the concept that the provision of education is the business of the state, but deplored the fact that the private schools provide far better standard and quality of education in less the price as compared to the state schools.

The conference was moderated by Prof. Dr. Bernadette Dean, Director VM Institute for Education, Karachi and Dr. Sajid Ali, Assistant Professor Aga Khan University, Institute for Educational Development.

The speeches were followed by a question-and-answer session. Mr. Shahpara Rizvi, Director-Technical, SEF presented the vote of thanks to the esteemed panellists, guests and the participants.

SEF organizes PPRS Phase IV Fund Distribution Ceremony

Karachi – Sindh Education Foundation organized PPRS Phase IV fund distribution ceremony at a local venue in Karachi. The event was attended by more than 300 participants.

The aim of the event was to introduce the new phase of SEF’s Public private initiative to the selected entrepreneurs and government officials and highlight its achievements during previous phase. During the ceremony subsidy was also disbursed to 195 entrepreneurs operating 318 PPRS schools in the 10 districts of Sindh. According to per month subsidy model SEF disbursed six month subsidy amounting to RS. 450 for 100 children and a total amount of 270,000 PKR was given to the entrepreneurs on per school basis for ensuring the effective management of schools.

Ceremony was initiated by Mr. Adnan Mobin Director Programs and Planning who gave presentation on a model school. He highlighted the attributes of a good school including safe and secure environment, availability of boundary walls and functional washrooms and also said that teacher’s attitude and behavior plays an important role in attracting students. Furthermore he emphasized that curriculum should be relevant, easy and promote imagination, creativity and innovation in children.

Another presentation was given by Ms. Shahpara Rizvi, Director Technical on review of institutional progress. She gave brief about different programs and units which are being operated by SEF.

Mr. Rustam Ali Samejo presented on coordination of PPRS program with regional offices. He discussed about SEF’s geographical outreach and hierarchy and also instructed entrepreneurs to coordinate with regional teams on timely basis, maintain appropriate school structure, develop school development plans and respect SEF’s name.

Technical units of SEF including Research, Monitoring and Evaluation unit, Learning Support Unit and Assessment unit also gave a brief about their structure and mechanism.

Mr. Mukhtiar Chandio, Deputy Director, PPRS program also threw light on the PPRS program and its achievements in the previous phases.

Mr. Aziz Kabani, Managing Director, SEF concluded the ceremony by saying that through this program SEF has opened maximum numbers of schools in the country. He also appreciated the efforts of entrepreneurs for managing the schools in effective and efficient way.

In the end, Mr. Nisar Banbhan, Deputy Director, Marketing, Advocacy and Publication Unit thanked the audience for their participation. Event was followed by the question and answer session.

Sindh-launch of ‘Annual Status of Education Report (ASER-Pakistan) – 2014

Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) and Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) organized the provincial launch of the “Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) Pakistan – 2014” for Sindh Province at in Karachi on January 28, 2015.

The launch was organized to share the findings of the survey with those concerned, including major stakeholders belonging to the field of academics, practitioners working in the field of education and representatives from the government and media personnel.

Aziz Kabani, managing director, Sindh Education Foundation, welcome the guests to the event. He said that it was inspiring to see although slight improvement in access to educational facilities and increase in literacy in Sindh. He said that the event was not only to launch the ASER-Pakistan 2014 report, but also a chance for the government officials to inform the audience about the initiatives that are being taken to improve the education status at the grassroots level.

Baela Raza Jameel, Director Programs-ITA, shared the findings of the ASER Pakistan 2014 in detail. She expressed pleasure over the fact that citizens can rise and collect extensive data in 14.5 weeks. She appreciated the talent that the citizens show to collect the door-to-door survey throughout the country. She lamented the fact that the citizens were not assigned th duty of the census and that it was years ago that the country had its census.

She called the ASER a ‘social movement’ of the educated individuals of the country. She also informed that label ASER was a brand under which various partner organizations are working throughout the process from conceptualization to printing of the report. She said that it was a welcome step in March 2013 when the Sindh Assembly passed the Sindh Act of Right to Education (Article 25-A).

She revealed the statistics achieved as a result of the ASER survey which was, according to her, citizen-led large-scale national household survey for the 3-16 years aged children. She called the ASER the largest data set to date which is being quoted in policy documents and reports at national as well as international level.

The ASER tools include Reading (Urdu/Sindhi/Pashto), Arithmetic, English and General Knowledge as categories. Assessments are based on Class II level curriculum for English and Class III for Urdu/Sindhi/Pashto languages.

Ms Jameel informed the audience that for the year 2014, it covered 144 rural districts and 21 urban districts collecting information on 279,427 children (3-16 years) and 93,093 households in 4698 villages/blocks.

She said that Karachi-Malir has the highest in school children at 97% as compared to other rural districts of Sindh. She informed that 7% increase was seen in the trend of children enrolling with the private schools for 6-16 as well as 6-10 years old children. She called it a point to ponder for the government that can take it as a policy change to go for low-cost private schools in rural areas.

Talking about the dilemma of multi-grading in classrooms, she said it was alarming to know that 70% of class 2-3-4 sat together in 2013 and 74% in 2014

Honourable Dr Fazlullah Pechuho, Additional Chief Secretary-Education, Govt. of Sindh said that there is also dearth of merit-based HR as teachers have not been hired on merit for the last 30 years. He expressed his desire for conducting a policy dialog involving political parties, educationists and private entrepreneurs. He said that the Sindh Government’s policy of Adopt-a-School policy was a robust one in which institutes are given chance to ‘adopt’ schools by signing an MoU with the government.

He also mentioned that the Sindh Government was also framing a policy for Early Childhood Education as well as Non-formal Education in order to strengthen the education system at grassroots level from the platform of public-private partnership.

For monitoring of teachers and establishment of a system to bring abstee teachers to schools, the government is soon initiating a call-center style setup to take complaints against the absent teachers and take action against them.

At the launch, Mr. Pechuho said that the report is being launched in Sindh in order to improve the education standards in Sindh.

Dr. Muhammad Memon, Director, Hamid ul Kirmani, Professor AKUIED, gave a presentation on Curriculum Reforms and said that there are reforms being brought about in the Sindh education sector and he was an integral part of the process.

He said that curriculum is a mirror to see what quality of education is being offered to students. He said that the curriculum in Pakistan was devised on ‘top-down’ model with ‘quick-fix’ approach on ‘more or less the same’ outcomes. He lamented the fact that the curriculum transmitted the ‘official knowledge’ (ideology) and for this, he said, we did not need teachers who are agents of invoking thoughts into students minds. With curriculum designed as such, we would be better off without teachers but some preachers.

After the 18th Amendment in 2010, advisory committee on curriculum and textbooks is formed, which consists of educationists, civil society members and media personnel, and review of 2006 up to elementary level has been completed in Sindh successfully. He also stressed the importance of professional development of teachers to implement curriculum as lack thereof would not produce required results.

He also said that Sindh will soon start assessing students not against the textbooks but curriculum in order to straighten the direction towards curriculum.

Mr Tauseef Lateef (Director, Public-Private Partnership (Node), Education and Literacy Department, Govt. of Sindh) said that he was assigned the task to draft a public-private partnership policy for education sector. He also mentioned that the government was introducing Education Management Organization (EMO) model in PPP domain and an MoU was signed with the Rotary Club, which is providing furniture, computer and science labs to the schools functioning under Sindh Basic Education Program.

Mr Muhammad Babur (Founder, Exploring Leadership and Learning Theories in Asia (ELLTA)) said that the report was a mirror to show the concerned officials what needs to be improved and where.

Dr Saajid Ali (Assistant Professor, Institute for Educational Development, Aga Khan University) said that it was unfortunate that we have been postponing achieving the MDGs as there is a lot which needs to be done. He further said that only showing the dismal picture of the education status will not make any difference as it is not a motive per se which could put the concerned officials to work.

Mentioning ASER 2014 finding of the increase in private school enrolment, he said that private sector was not ‘even’ and has disparity at all level with regard to the class of the people. He added that private schools do not hire teachers on quality, but on other factors and that they exploit teachers by cutting down the jobs.

Mr Ghulam Nabi Leghari (Senior Program Manager, Reform Support Unit, Govt of Sindh) said that it was the sorry state of affairs that the district level officials, who are supposed to be the implementers of the policies laid out in line with the MDGs, do not even know what MDGs are. This is also a reason why we are lagging behind in achieving the goals. He said that it was no justified that only the government should take the blame of the unsatisfactory status of education sector, the civil society also needs to share the blame as well as responsibility towards working for the improvement of education facilities.

Appreciating the government’s efforts in every sector, he said that the government officials and government employees were working harder than ever to bring about positive e changes in education system which should, ultimately, reflect in reports like ASER. He said that he was hopeful of better results in the upcoming ASER Pakistan 2014.

Explaining his model of 3A’s, he said that we need to create ‘association’ among teachers, politicians, community as well as civil society at all social level. This should follow the ‘authority’ at local levels including school, community as well as policy level. This all should be capped by ‘accountability’ again at all levels.

The panellists also took questions from the audience at the end of the sessions.

The event was moderated by Ms Shahpara Rizvi (Director, Technical Units, Sindh Education Foundation) and Mr Muhammad Babur (Founder, Exploring Leadership and Learning Theories in Asia (ELLTA)).

Sindh Education Foundation celebrates International Women’s Day 2015

Karachi, Sindh, March 07, 2015 – Sindh Education Foundation organized an event to celebrate the indispensable role and incredible achievements of the women in the wake of International Women’s Day 2015: Make It Happen, as part of its intellectual discourse series, Professor Anita Ghulam Ali (S.I.) Discourse Series.

The panellists at the event included Dr. Nafisa Shah (MNA and Journalist), Dr. Anila Malik (Psychologist and Teacher), Dr. Khalida Ghous , Ms. Alia Sarim Burney, prominent social worker.

Mr. Aziz Kabani, Managing Director, SEF welcomed the guests to the event and paid tribute to Professor Anita Ghulam Ali (S.I.), the founder and ex-managing director, Sindh Education Foundation, Govt. of Sindh. He said that Prof. Ali believed in the potential of women in pushing development programs towards achievement of goals. He informed the audience that many of the key positions in SEF are held by women who are doing a tremendous jon in achieving the Foundation’s goals.

Mr. Kabani lamented the fact that we are still living in a society where male decides on and spearheads the course of our social life. Women are intentionally pushed back at every level so as not to acquire leadership or controlling roles.

“We need to present a new social model where we keep no discrimination between men and women or, as evidence supports it at many instances, women should be given key roles in different sectors,” added Mr. Kabani.

Ms. Ambreena Ahmed, head of Teachers Resource Center, paid tribute to late Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali (S.I.) by referring to her role as being ‘larger than life’. She said that Prof. Ali always had a receiving, witty remark for everyone who approached her for support, professional or personal.

Ms. Nafeesa Shah said women parliamentarians are generally posed with the question as to what women parliamentarians are doing for women empowerment and women’s rights, now when we have many of them in the country. She said that women parliamentarians have conceptualized and facilitated laws in favour of women’s social and economic rights.

She supported her claim by mentioning legislations including Women Protection Act 2006 which strengthened anti-rape laws, legislation to protect women at workplaces, legislation against anti-acid crimes, which penalizes the criminal for 14 years, creation of women detention fund, which provides legal aid to women prisoners, establishment of Commission on Status of Women, which strengthens women’s rights, and steps against anti-women practices for their social protection.

“We have a pool of women role models including the first woman prime minister in the Muslim world, youngest ever Nobel Prize winner, first woman speaker in South Asia and so on,” she said.
Dr. Anila Malik said that it’s not pure sociological dynamics which are responsible for aggression in men.

“It’s more of social ones which have kind of empowered men to behave aggressive. We have examples of Roman husbands who had had a life-and-death right over women’s lives,” Dr. Malik said.

She said that we ask children to fight for the things they want, which we think is a better way to prepare them to survive in this world. This is wrong. By doing this, we inculcate aggression in them as individuals and the same children grow up with the justification of being aggressive in the society.

“Our society have good notion of men who control women and we facilitate and appreciate such men; this has always paved the psychological way for men to be aggressive towards women,” she added.

Dr. Khalid Ghous said that there has to be clear policy on women’s empowerment a rights as it’s a major problem. We have theories alone which do not suffice in facilitating women’s rights.

She deplored the fact that present government’s policies focus on economic development aone and have no plans for social development.

Talking about discrimination in daily wages for male and female workers, she said that women got 11 rupees against men’s 15 rupees in ‘90s. It has worsened so much so that women get 38 rupees against men’s 52 rupees having a difference f rupees 14.

She said that women empowerment legislation pays lip service to women in the name of women empowerment. “There is a lot more to do,” she asserted.

Ms. Sarim Burney expressed that nurture is as important as education. “Education without proper nurture is like giving someone weapon without training them on how and where to use it”.

Mr. Burney expressed grief and anger over the unfortunate Peshawar attack on an Army Public School where many children were brutally shot dead by the terrorists. She said that the terrorists took away everything we had. “They are nonsense as to think of pushing us to wall by this incident; instead, we have become more powerful as they took away the most precious belongings, our children, and, now, we have nothing more to lose,” she added.

Ms. Begum Qaim Ali Shah was the chief guest at the event who presented shields to SEF’s female workers who have completed more than 10 years working with the Foundation.

The event was attended by an audience from education sector including teachers, students, partner NGO representatives, donor agencies, educationists, media personnel and government officials.

Consultative Workshop with Private Sector Educationists for SEF Middle and Secondary Schools

"Education is the only key for the development of the province and we also must acknowledge that the Sindh Government is taking some very effective initiatives for the development of education, SEF is one good example of government-supported organizations in this stance" were the words of Ms. Naheed Shah Durrani, Managing Director, Sindh Education Foundation at a consultative workshop in Karachi.

The Consultative Workshop with Private Sector Educationists for SEF Middle and Secondary Schools was organized by Sindh Education Foundation, Govt. of Sindh (SEF) at a local hotel in Karachi on June 11, 2015. Around a 100 individuals including bureaucrats, civil servants, educationists and school operators participated in the workshop where expert advice and recommendations were sought for the potential scheme for middle and secondary schools in Sindh.

SEF Middle and Secondary Schools (SMSS) program aims to gradually increase the provisions of Middle and Secondary schools in Sindh through public-private partnership. Through the envisioned program, existing government or private school infrastructure will be used to establish middle and secondary schools in the morning and second shift. Highly qualified private sector partners – educational organizations or individuals – having demonstrated experience in delivering quality education and strong motivation to work in under developed regions will be selected to manage schools and ensure quality student educational outcomes.

The SMSS program is designed to fulfil the need of middle school-level education in Sindh. According to Sindh Education Profile 2013-14 data, Sindh suffers from low enrolment at elementary and secondary levels as only 2,336 (5%) of 46,724 public schools in Sindh are Middle/Elementary schools, and a meager 1,752 (4%) are Secondary schools. Subsequently, only 246,893 (6%) and 723,052 (18%) of the total enrolment of 4,085,415 in Sindh are enrolled in Middle/Elementary and Secondary schools, respectively.

Total enrolment figures indicate a very low transition rate of 62% from Grade 5 to Grade 6 (SEMIS 2011-12); while the retention rate between Grade 1 to Grade 5 gradually decreases with the progression of grades, and the fall in enrolment when a student graduates from primary school and moves to middle school is far more drastic.

However, some locations have much smaller enrolment figures in Grade 6 than others. Upon analysing enrolment information based on UCs, we find that 391 of 1,114 UCs (35%) have an enrolment of less than 100 students in Grade 6. These UCs lie in all 29 districts of Sindh including many urban regions.

The objective of the program include increase in the provision of post-primary schools in Sindh by establishing Middle/Secondary schools with preference for Union Councils having less than 100 enrolments in Grade 6, provision of post-primary education through use of existing public and private sector infrastructure by way of its improvement, and improvement in the quality of post primary education through selection of better quality service providers, use of innovative learning tools, and facilitative partnerships between public and private sectors.

SEF envisions to achieve 200,000 students enrolled from selected UCs/Talukas with low enrolments in post-primary schools and opportunities provided for high quality education outcomes, employment opportunities provided to approximately 7000 teachers and staff, highly qualified teachers employed, and use of smart and innovative learning and teaching techniques in the middle/secondary schools.

Under this particular intervention, SEF plans to partner with reputable educational institutions/individuals who are willing to work across Sindh, especially, in the regions with extremely low provision of post-primary education. The model is accountability-based where SEF will provide subsidy on the basis of overall child attainments as agreed under terms and conditions against approved per-child subsidy amount.

The workshop was organized to discuss viability of the schools under the scheme and seek recommendations from individuals having extensive experience in the field of education. The participants worked in groups to discuss and outline recommendations for, each, Academic Model, Community Mobilization Model, Financial Model, Infrastructure Model, and Teachers Model for the middle and secondary school scheme against particular per-child subsidy amount.

Air Marshal (R) Raizuddin Shaikh, Chairman, Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Youth Development Program (BBSYDP) appreciated the potential scheme and described it as a ‘step in the right direction in uplifting access to middle and secondary level education in Sindh’.

Mr. Shafiq Paracha, Honorary Secretary, Sindh Madressatul Islam Board said, “SEF should ensure that both – thick- as well as thin-populated areas – must be covered under the scheme as stats reveal a gloomy picture of the state of the post-primary education in rural as well as in semi-urban areas of Sindh.”

Ms. Sadiqa Salahuddin of Indus Resource Centre (IRC) expressed that her organization would be interested in partnering with the SEF once the scheme is formally announced.

Ms. Naheed Shah Durrani, Managing Director, SEF chaired the workshop and participants included Ms. Sabah Mahmood, Chief Program Manager, Reform Support Unit, Dr. Mr. Agha Shahid Majeed Khan, Co-founder, Progressive Education Network, Mr. Khalilullah Shaikh, Chairman, Education For All Foundation (EFAF), Commodore (R) Syed Zafar Iqbal, Director General, Bahria Foundation, Dr. Ahson Rabbani, CEO, ChildLife Foundation, Mr. Muhammad Ibrahim Shaikh, General Secretary, Sindh Development Association (SDA), Mr. Naveed Shaikh, CEO, Sharmeen Khan Foundation, Mr. Noor Hussain, Project Coordinator, IBA Community Colleges at Sukkur IBA, Mr. Zia Abbas, Vice President-Inputs, The Citizens Foundation, Prof. Dr. Chandan Lal, Chairman, Dept. of Business Administration, Shah Abdul Latif University, Ms. Amar Sindhu, Chairperson, Dept. of Philosophy, University of Sindh, Dr. Arfana Mallah, Associate Professor, Dept. of Chemistry, University of Sindh, Dr. Irfan Rind, Head of Education Dept., Sukkur IBA, Mr. Ashfaq Memon, Ex Civil Servant, Mr. Imtiaz Ursani, Project Coordinator, Osar Foundation, Mr. Meer Muhammad Parihar, Ex-Civil Servant among others.

In her concluding remarks, Ms. Durrani thanked the participants for their participation in the workshop and their valuable suggestions and recommendations for the scheme under way. She further said, “In all SEF-supported schools, we are only committing to provision of free quality education where zero tolerance will be adopted for the operators who are under-performing or are violating the conditions of provision of quality educational environment in their schools. Extreme steps should be expected in the days to come in this regard as SEF is not going to compromise on any standards other than quality education.”
She also said that SEF would take the participants’ recommendations into consideration while designing the scheme for implementation, and that further consultation on the topic will also be carried out in future with stakeholders at different levels.

How to Use Audiovisual Aids in Classrooms in Rural Context

Sindh Education Foundation organized a one-day discourse session on how to train teachers to use audiovisual aids in classrooms in the rural areas of Sindh on May 13, 2015 at SEF Head Office in Karachi. The session was conducted by Wali Zahid, CEO of SkillCity, a new-generation learning firm with a developing-country perspective.

Wali is an international consultant, speaker, leadership trainer and executive coach. He has also been on a committee for drafting Pakistan’s Vision 2025 Plan.

Wali discussed the many aspects of using audiovisual aids inside classrooms in rural areas where there is dearth of resources in general. Focusing on the use of technology, he stressed on using low-priced mobile phones which students can use to search for information on any given topic, record and take photos of classroom activities, and present them on the multimedia projector. New experience as this would be for students, it would give them a new excitement to harness technology to their use.

He also explained how teachers can use movie clips which are funny or have a lesson for students. “Future of teaching is story-telling”, he said while explaining how powerful this method can be inside classroom. He cited the example of TED Talks which use this method to present powerful ideas through the help of story-telling.

Majority of the participants included members from SEF’s Learning Support Unit which is responsible for trainings the teachers and developing manuals and guides. Teams from other units and programs also participated and took interest in the useful learning session.

Earlier at the occasion, Ms. Naheed Shah Durrani, Managing Director, SEF welcomed Wali Zahid and other participants to the session and explained the purpose behind and importance of the session on audiovisual aids in Sindh schools.

Speaking on the overall status of education in Sindh, she lamented the fact that Sindh was lagging behind areas like Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and Gilgit.

“Although, back in ‘70s, Sindh had double the literacy rate as compared to Punjab, it is sad to see that it went downwards instead of going upwards or at least in a sustained position”, she said.

She reaffirmed the SEF’s pledge to provide free quality education for all in Sindh, by opening up schools in underprivileged areas of Sindh, training teachers on professional teaching and classroom management tools, and, thus, improving the overall status of education and literacy rate of the province.