KARACHI - The US Agency for International Development (USAID) on Monday awarded scholarships to 102 students enrolled in ADE and BEd (Hons) programs in Sindh as part of the $165 million Pakistan Reading Project. The ceremony was held at Marriott in Karachi and USAID provincial Director for Sindh and Balochistan Leon S Waskin who is also acting US Consul General for Sindh attended with Sindh Secretary of Education Dr Fazlullah Pechuho.The scholarships will pay for tuition and supplies as well as provide a stipend to recipients. The US government will provide more than 4,500 scholarships to aspiring teachers. During the ceremony, 11 future teachers who recently completed a US-funded ADE program were awarded graduation certificates. While addressing the students, Leon S Waskin said, “The quality and improvement of the education system depends critically upon the quality of teachers. The USAID funded Pakistan Reading Project is a significant initiative of the U.S. Government in collaboration with the Government of Pakistan to improve the standard of basic education.” Dr Fazal-ullah Pechoho, Additional Chief Secretary Education also spoke on the occasion and thanked the U.S. Government for their support in improving the standard of basic education in Sindh.The Pakistan Reading Project will improve the reading skills of at least 2.5 million children to ensure that they are reading at or above grade level by 2019. The Project works closely with 28 Pakistani universities and 116 elementary teacher training colleges throughout Pakistan to improve the quality of teaching skills and curriculum. Over the next five years, the Pakistan Reading Project will award a total of 1,066 ADE and BEd (Hons) scholarships to students from Sindh. The U.S. partnership with the Government of Pakistan supports the rehabilitation and construction of over 1,350 schools in Sindh, Khyber Paktunkhwa, Azad Jammu & Kashmir and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. The United States is also establishing centers for advanced education studies at four Pakistani universities and expanding English skills for more than 5,000 low-income students. The United States has awarded more than 4,800 scholarships to university students to pursue higher education through the Pakistan-USAID Merit and Needs Based Scholarship Program.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 27-May-2014 here.