Islamabad - Save the Children with the generous financial support of the embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands has successfully implemented the Balochistan Education Programme (BEP) in collaboration with the provincial education department.

In this regard, an event was held which was attended by the representatives of the Dutch embassy, Additional Secretary Education Balochistan Mohammad Tayyab, representatives of the implementing partners IDO, SCSPEB and SEHER, representatives of the UN and donor agencies and other civil society organisations.

Sardar Iftikhar Ahmed Khan, provincial director Balochistan, Save the Children, formally welcomed the participants while giving a detailed presentation on the achievements of the BEP.

Manager Education and Child Development, Save the Children, Haroon Rasheed Kasi briefed the audience about the successful implementation and milestones of the BEP. “The construction of science and computer laboratories in 10 upgraded girls schools along with the training of teachers and 300 secondary grade students of these schools on information communication technology is a major step towards providing quality and modern education to the girls of Balochistan,” Kasi added.

Additional Secretary Education Balochistan, Mohammad Tayyabalso, in his address, appreciated the support provided by Save the Children towards improving the access to quality education. He highlighted upon the future plans of the provincial education department and expressed a warm welcome to all the donors to invest in the education sector in Balochistan.

Frans van Rijn, deputy head of mission, embassy of Kingdom of Netherlands, admired the valuable contribution of the BEP and appreciated Save the children for making the BEP a real success. He also admired the unconditional support provided by the government of Balochistan for the successful implementation of the programme. He mentioned that over the years the Netherlands had been supporting various initiatives in Balochistan in multiple sectors and would continue its support in every possible manner.

Ghulam Qadri, acting country director Save the Children, thanked the embassy of Netherlands for their generous financial support and the education department government of Balochistan for facilitating the implementation of the programme.

The geographic focus of the BEP over the last five years was three districts of Balochistan including Mastung, Killa Abdullah and Quetta. Under this programme, 25 girls schools have been upgraded from primary level to middle level, 10 girls schools have been upgraded from middle to high level, 105 early childhood education centres have been developed, 200 schools have been provided with missing facilities such as washrooms, boundary walls, water tanks, flooring and renovation. Moreover, the BEP also provided support to the education department for enhancing its planning, budgeting and management capacities through the establishment of education management information systems (EMIS) in the three focused districts.

Besides, 1,100 teachers have also been trained on child friendly teaching methodologies, child protection, positive discipline, disaster risk reduction, school health &nutrition and child focused health education. Furthermore, 300 teachers were also trained on national curriculum of early childhood education.

Government officials were also trained on education, leadership and management and faculty of PITE and BOC were trained on peace education and emergent literacy & mathematics. Under BEP Literacy Boost – an innovative and evidence-based action research was piloted in 20 schools and communities of Quetta wherein 24 teachers were trained on pedagogies of basic reading skills while Numeracy Boost action research was piloted in 18 schools and communities of Quetta to enhance the capacity of 18 teachers on number & operations, measurement and geometry.