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Nationwide drive for school enrolment under Ehsaas soon

By Our Correspondent
January 07, 2021

Islamabad : A maiden meeting of the Ehsaas steering committee for Waseela-e-Taleem Digital, an education conditional cash transfer programme—was convened under the chair of the PM’s Special Assistant Dr. Sania Nishtar here on Wednesday.

The steering committee members were briefed on Waseela-e-Taleem Digital, which has been reformed and scaled up through end-to-end digitization, cost-effective changes in institutional infrastructure, new stipend policy, and nationwide expansion. The Rs80 billion programme will bring five million deserving primary school children into its fold from across 154 districts of Pakistan over a four-year duration.

The steering committee reviewed programme performance, discussed the way forward, and explored options to enhance outcomes capitalising on conditionalities introduced in the programme.

“The purpose of Waseela-e-Taleem is to promote integrity, transparency, accountability and to improve targeting. And the programme has been scaled up nationwide to address the problem of out-of-school children,” Dr. Sania said adding, “As per Ehsaas payment policy, all payments are biometrically verified in real time; girls get Rs2,000 and boys get Rs1,500 per quarter, when 70% school attendance is ensured.”

The meeting brought together members of the steering committee from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Education and Professional Training, Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and Education Departments from provinces including AJK and GB who were joined by Waseela-e-Taleem Digital operations team.

The meeting also discussed Ehsaas plans to roll out a nationwide drive for school enrolment in collaboration with provinces and key development stakeholders to enhance primary school enrolments and minimise dropouts. “The programme targeting will also be aligned in keeping with results of Ehsaas National Socio-economic Registry survey that is currently 61% complete in the field and is expected to be concluded before June 2021 nationwide,” stated Dr. Sania.

It was agreed that a sub-committee will be constituted with experts from the steering committee stakeholders and provinces for a deep dive into the reforms and integrations in the education conditional cash transfer programme. The steering committee will meet biannually to review progress of the programme.