Saturday December 03, 2022

Expansion of education stipends to schools likely

By Our Correspondent
March 12, 2021

Islamabad : Given the issue of 18.7 million out of school children in Pakistan coupled with high dropout rate at the secondary school level, Ehsaas is considering extension of its primary education Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme, ‘Waseela-e-Taleem Digital’ to the secondary level.

There is a high probability that income losses due to COVID-19 may have caused a substantial increase in dropouts. To tackle this issue, a pilot will be rolled out in federally administered areas to serve secondary education. Further, to expand it nationwide, an integrated mechanism will be devised in coordination with provincial education departments to co-finance secondary education CCT with provinces to avoid duplications. “Ehsaas secondary education CCT will help disadvantaged families to overcome financial barriers to access secondary education. The programme will be structured in line with Ehsaas Stipends policy which allows doling out higher stipend amount for girls as compared to boys. The prime objective is to encourage parents to send their daughters to schools and support them to achieve secondary education,” said SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar.

Education CCTs not only socially assist vulnerable households but also reduce the number of out of school children. The ‘Waseela-e-Taleem Digital ‘programme benefits children of poorest families with conditional cash grants amounting Rs1,500 for boy child and Rs2,000 per quarter for girl child on fulfilment of 70% attendance in primary schooling. The Rs80 billion programme will bring 5 million deserving primary school children into its fold from across all 154 districts of Pakistan over a 4-year duration.

The secondary education CCT, once launched, is envisaged to reduce disparities in educational opportunities by raising secondary school attendance, enrollment, and school progression among out of school children, particularly girls.