United States Agency for International Development (USAID) representatives met with the senior minister for education and literacy, Pir Mazharul Haq, on Friday to discuss issues, including the quality of education, the basic infrastructure of institutions in flood-affected areas and encouraging girls to enrol.
Haq told the delegation that the Sindh government is taking steps to provide high quality education in the flood-hit region. Nearly 600 educational institutions are being built by the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), while other donor agencies will build 133 schools in Sujawal, with the help of an NGO.
“The government has allocated a huge fund for the education sector, despite limited resources after the floods,” said the minister. He suggested that the delegation meet with the Reform Support Unit (RSU) to see the progress of schools across the province. The unit effectively monitors the performance of schools and could extend help and assistance to implement their projects.
“For the first time in the history of Sindh, teachers were recruited on merit without political influence of the elected representatives. Another 18,000 teachers would be recruited in the same way,” he said. The minister also thanked donor agencies and NGOs for their cooperation and assistance to the Sindh education sector.
Led by the USAID Pakistan and Afghanistan office director, Jeff Brakkin, the delegation included the Islamabad USAID programme officer, Elizabeth Doghoon. Development specialist Arif Pervez, education specialist Zulfiqar Ali and RSU officials attended the meeting.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 25th, 2011.