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MUZAFFARGARH: A programme to support adolescent girls in South Punjab was launched by the UK`s Department for International Development (DFID) at an empowerment hub here on Thursday.

Advocating Action for Adolescent Girls, or Siyani Sahelian will be a two and a half years programme. It will be implemented by Idara-i-Taleem-o-Aagahi in collaboration with the Punjab government’s department of literacy and non-formal basic education.

The programme aims at tackling gender inequality for [disadvantaged] out-of-school adolescent girls (age 9-19). It has been started in Muzaffargarh, Bahawalpur and Rahim Yar Khan districts. The programme offers the marginalised adolescent girls to complete primary and post-primary education as well as vocational training. The beneficiaries will be provided with basic skills.

District Education Officer (females) Samina Bashar said the programme would change the life of girls. She said learning would be imparted to beneficiaries at empowerment hubs and would also be replicated in 20 to 30 partner schools per district.

More than 20,000 girls will benefit from the programme over the next two years. Of them, 17,000 will be those completing accelerated learning programmes and 3,000 will be graduating with certified technical vocational education.

Activities and support services for accelerated learning interventions include free transport, trained teachers, book material and stationery.

The department will provide monthly stipend, uniform learning materials, certifications and training in financial inclusion with market linkage.

Published in Dawn, November 2nd, 2018

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