Committee decides to roll out edu stipend programme under Ehsaas

ISLAMABAD   –  The steering committee of Waseela-e-Taleem Digital Friday decided to roll out an education stipend programme for secondary education under Ehsaas.

Dr. Sania Nishtar chaired the steering committee meeting of Waseela-e-Taleem Digital wherein the committee members and experts took a decision to roll out an education stipend programme for secondary education under Ehsaas, said a statement issued here. Through engaging discussions, the meeting took stock of existing secondary stipend programmes in the country. 

It was discussed that the upcoming programme for secondary school stipends will be designed and executed in close coordination with provinces to avoid duplications. Almost all provincial governments except AJK, GB and ICT are currently running secondary stipend programmes. These programmes are limited to girls only and are also running in selected districts of provinces. And, stipends are granted universally irrespective of poverty. However, the Ehsaas secondary school stipend initiative in collaboration with provinces will translate into more school going children from disadvantaged populations, especially girls at the secondary level.

Currently, there are 18.7 million out of school children, in the age group 6 to 16, in the country. Further, there is a high chance that COVID-19 induced livelihoods losses have caused over a million more dropouts. According to Demographic and Health Survey 2017 (Kaplan and Meier estimates), the dropout rate is highest for the poorest two quintiles in secondary education. Hence Ehsaas is working on a financial access to secondary education programme. The programme will be structured in line with Ehsaas Stipend policy which allows higher stipend amount for girls as compared to boys. For further necessary approvals, this Ehsaas proposition will be taken to Economic Coordination Committee (ECC).

Dr. Nishtar said, “This is especially important as we shift our focus from the completion of primary school to continuing on to secondary school particularly for girls.” 

She further added, “Aiming to tackle very low enrolment rates in age bracket 11-16 years and high dropout rate in grades 5-10, Ehsaas is considering expansion of Waseela-e-Taleem Digital for secondary education stipends. The transition of schooling will have a very positive impact on school enrollment and continuation in school for children from poor populations.”

At the meeting, Dr. Nishtar was joined by Secretary BISP, senior officials and representatives from Federal Ministry of Education and Professional Training, Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Education Departments from provinces including Balochistan, KP, Sindh and Punjab along with Waseela-e-Taleem Digital team of Ehsaas.

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