Olson, Qaim launch basic education programme
Karachi: US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard G Olson, joined by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, broke ground in the Korro village of Khairpur on Monday on the first of 120 schools to be built by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of its $155 million Sindh Basic Education Programme.
US Consul General Michael Dodman, US Agency for International Development Mission Director Greg Gottlieb, Sindh Senior Minister of Education Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Education Secretary Dr Fazlullah Pechuho and other officials from Sindh’s education department, as well as teachers, students and members of the community, also attended the ceremony.
“We are committed to supporting education in Pakistan, which is the key to a brighter future for Pakistan’s children,” said Ambassador Olson.
“Working together, the US and the Sindh government will improve the quality of and access to education for the children of Sindh.”
In the coming five years, USAID’s Sindh Basic Education Programme will provide support for the construction of 120 schools affected by the catastrophic 2010 floods and will support the Sindh government’s policy of consolidating, merging and upgrading schools throughout the province.
According to a statement released by the US consulate general, the programme will develop greater partnerships with local communities to improve school management and increase enrollment for girls, with a goal of improving the reading skills of 750,000 children in target areas of Sindh.
The government is contributing an additional $10 million to support the programme.
The Sindh Basic Education Programme is one of the many US-funded initiatives that help millions of Pakistani children unlock their full potential.
Other programmes include financing the construction of new applied research centers at Pakistani universities that focus on energy, water and agriculture; 16 partnerships linking Pakistani and US colleges and universities; new degree programmes in education at 90 teacher colleges and universities throughout Pakistan; and scholarship programmes for thousands of Pakistani students to study both in Pakistan and in the United States.