MUZAFFARABAD - United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has completed projects of worth $23 million in earthquake-affected areas of AJK. Revitalizing, Innovating and Strengthening Education (RISE) project was implemented under American Institute for Research (AIR) in Muzaffarabad, Bagh and Poonch districts of AJK and Mansehra district of Khyber Pakthunkhwa to improve education system. In earthquake-stricken districts more than 10,000 primary, middle and high school teachers were trained to use student-centred and active learning methods in English mathematics and science and for which 65 learning resource centres were established and 2,300 communities were mobilised to support their schools. Apart from this, 139 education managers and over 30 education management information system staffers significantly improved their skills in their respective areas under the RISE projects. 2300 School management committees (SMC) were formed to involve the local community for a dynamic role to run the schools and over 18,900 SMC/ PTC (parents teachers committees) members from 2,300 SMCs/PTCs received training to help them become self-sustaining entities. Over 1,000 SMCs/PTCs have presented 180 theatre performances and 34 puppet shows to raise awareness regarding educational issues. Small grants were also provided to 688 school management committees for strengthening and improving of schools needs. An educational celebration was held at Social Welfare Complex in Muzaffarabad to mark the completion of RISE project. The models of the creative works by the students of schools benefited by RISE were displayed in the exhibition. Prime Minister Raja Farooq Hadier Khan, President AJK-MC Sadradr Attiq Ahmed Khan, Minister for Education, Noreen Arif, Coordinator Economic Affairs US Embassy Islamabad, Rabin Rophel, officials of education, social welfare departments, NGOs and a large number of teachers and students attended the celebration. Prime Minister Raja Farooq Hadier Khan while addressing the ceremony said that the projects played a significant role in improvement of education quality in AJK after the devastating earthquake of October 2005. He urged the USAID not to wind up the project and extend to other areas of the state too. Sardar Attiq acknowledged international support to the masses of Kashmir when after the earthquake and wished that the USAID should stay in the area for a tremendous rehabilitation. The Economic Affairs Coordinator of US Embassy, Islamabad, Robin Raphel, said that USAID would continue the support for development and improvement of the education. She said that she had witnessed the benefits and impact of RISE projects. Minister Education Ms Noreen Arif while addressing the ceremony appreciated the USAID for support for the improvement of education system.