LAHORE: The Punjab School Education Department (SED) launched the Universal Primary Enrollment (UPE) Campaign 2018, aiming to enroll 95% children to school. It has also set up special teams for monitoring and door-to-door campaigns.
The SED has issued a letter to all District Education Authorities (DEAs) of the province in which the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) have been told to lead the campaign in their respective jurisdictions.
The letter, a copy available with The Express Tribune said, “In compliance with the CM’s agenda of achieving 95% participation rate in children aged between five and nine years, the SED is hereby pleased to announce the official launch of the UPE Campaign 2018. The first phase of the campaign started on March 2, 2018, and run until the last day of school before the summer vacations. A second phase of the campaign may be announced at a later date.”
The SED has also set up a special UPE committee charged with management of the campaign. The committee is comprised of Rana Hasan Akhtar as Provincial UPE Director, Rana Qayyum Khan as Provincial Manager Reporting and Retention, Mushtaq Ahmed Sial as Provincial Manager Access to Education and Faizullah Tareen as Provincial Manager Door to Door enrolment campaign. The department has decided that the committee will meet weekly and take stock of district-level performance against set enrollment targets.
According to the letter, the UPE director will be responsible for overall campaign and will report to the SED secretary on a fortnightly basis, whereas the manager reporting and retention will report enrolment figures on a daily and weekly basis through the School Information System (SIS).
He will also track dropouts and will inform the districts for follow up. The manager access to education will implement schemes aimed at increasing access to education through satellite schools. The manager door-to-door enrollment campaign will be responsible for daily management and for conducting awareness events, as well as ensuring free school bags and uniforms for children as incentives to enroll in school using the non-salary (NSB) budget.
The campaign will be run until May 31, before the start of summer vacations scheduled to start on June 1.
The letter also stated, “Follow up with parents of dropouts will be critical to the success of the campaign. Observing past trends, it is obvious that there are large numbers of students that dropout at the start of the new academic year. Once confirmed that the child has indeed dropped out, it is essential to record the dropout in the SIS system using the school’s tablet immediately. This will allow AEOs and other stakeholders to follow up with the parents of these children to bring them back to school.”
Talking to The Express Tribune, SED Secretary Dr Allah Baksh Malik said that the first target of the campaign was to enroll students in school who have come of age for example between five and nine years at any cost.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 4th, 2018.
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