SEF chief stresses need for public-private partnership to enrol out-of-school children

By Our Correspondent
February 25, 2024

The Sindh government has renewed its pledge to work with two leading charities for building quality learning facilities to enrol hundreds of thousands of out-of-school children in the province in the shortest possible time.


The chiefs of the Sindh Education Foundation (SEF), and non-profits Shahid Afridi Foundation (SAF) and Green Crescent Trust (GCT) spoke at the SAF-GCT annual dinner and came up with the consensus view that the government, philanthropists and sincere non-governmental organisations should combine their efforts and resources to overcome illiteracy in the province.

The image shows a moment from a joint dinner of non-profits Shahid Afridi Foundation (SAF) and Green Crescent Trust (GCT) on Feb 21, 2024. — Facebook/

On the occasion, memorabilia associated with sports legends Shahid Afridi, Jahangir Khan and other renowned athletes were auctioned in the presence of Karachi’s leading businessmen and industrialists. The proceeds of the auction would be used to fund the joint charitable campaign of the SAF-GCT to educate children from deprived families in Sindh.

Speaking on the occasion, SAF Chairman Shahid Afridi reiterated the resolve of his non-profit to fulfil the basic needs of underprivileged communities in remotest parts of the country where other NGOs generally did not serve due to lack of resources.

He said the SAF in partnership with organisations like the SEF and GCT would continue to build state-of-the-art school facilities for children in rural and remote parts of Sindh.

He told the audience that enrolment of out-of-school children was a gigantic task but committed charity organisations, government agencies and philanthropists could achieve this noble cause by combining their efforts.

He said that one of the noble missions being pursued by the SAF was daughters’ education as ensuring female literacy meant ensuring the education of the rest of the family members.

SEF Managing Director Abdul Kabir Kazi said the public-private partnership was the way forward for the concerned quarters including the governments, NGOs, private sector and philanthropists to build new educational facilities for enrolling out-of-school children.

He said the SEF was the arm of the Sindh government, which in partnership with committed non-profits like SAF and GCT had opened new educational facilities in the remotest parts of Sindh at an accelerated pace.

He informed the audience that the SEF had been running 150 non-formal education centres for imparting education and technical skills to children from deprived communities at an accelerated pace as 1,200 students graduated from these centres last year alone.

He said the SEF had built 30 digital learning centres imparting education through tablet computers to children in remote and underprivileged areas including flood-hit parts of the province.

SAF CEO Zafar Malik shared with the audience the vision of his non-profit to impart technical skills to children from impoverished areas in addition to formal education to enable them to earn for their families in the shortest possible time.

He said the SAF had been introducing the programme of providing food rations to children enrolled in its charitable schools to care for their basic health and nutritional needs.

He said the SAF had also been building a network of mobile clinics to provide basic healthcare facilities to the rural population especially women in remote areas.

GCT CEO Zahid Saeed expressed gratitude to Karachi’s business fraternity for keenly participating in the auction of sports memorabilia to become a partner in the drive to educate children from needy families in Sindh.

He said that educating each and every child irrespective of his or her socio-economic background could transform Pakistan on the lines of China and become a superpower in a few decades with a complete focus on education. He informed the audience that last year the GCT had expanded the footprint of its charitable work beyond Sindh for the first time by establishing a school in the Winder area of Balochistan.