KARACHI: US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) mission director Gregory Gottlieb and Sindh minister for education Nisar Ahmed Khuhro broke ground at the Dumba Goth Government School in Gadap Town on Thursday.
The event kicked off the USAID-funded school construction in Karachi under its Sindh Basic Education Programme (SBEP).
“This ground-breaking represents only one part of the broader US commitment to expanding access to education for all Pakistanis, especially for girls,” said mission director Gottlieb. “Besides building schools, the US government offers many scholarship, exchange and teacher training programmes.”
The programmes, said Mr Gottlieb, were designed to increase opportunities for Pakistan’s younger generation and improve Pakistan’s economic and employment conditions.
“Education plays a pivotal role in shaping the lives of children and young adults,” said USAID provincial director Leon S. Waskin. “USAID’s educational programmes, such as SBEP, focus on improving the quality of teaching and learning as well as increasing equitable access to safe learning opportunities for children.”
Also present at the ground-breaking ceremony were USAID senior policy adviser and SBEP programme manager Dr Randy Hatfield, Sindh education secretary Fazlullah Pechuho and MPA Muhammad Sajid Jokhio as well as the Sindh Department of Education and Literacy officials and teachers, students and members of the local community.
The USAID is providing $155 million to fund the SBEP with the Sindh government offering $10 million as part of a cost-share arrangement. As part of the programme, the USAID helps the Sindh government construct 120 large schools, including those in flood-affected areas.
They are building schools in districts of Khairpur, Sukkur, Larkana, Qambar-Shahdadkot, Jacobabad, Kashmore and Dadu along with Kemari, Liyari, Orangi, Gaddap and Bin Qasim towns of Karachi. Construction is underway in Khairpur, Sukkur and Larkana.
The programme also works with communities to improve school management and increase girls’ enrollment while improving the reading skills of 750,000 children in targeted areas of the province.
Published in Dawn March 20th, 2015