Karachi, Pakistan - 1 March 2019: Mr. Katsunori Ashida, Acting Consul General of Japan, and Mr. Qazi Shahid Pervaiz, Secretary for School Education & Literacy Department, Government of Sindh, marked the opening of a new Non-Formal Basic Education (NFBE) Centre in Baloch Mujahid & Phulani Para, Ibrahim Hyderi, in the urban slums of Karachi yesterday.
The centre is one of 150 recently established thanks to support from the Government of Japan, in partnership with the Government of Sindh, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The centres will provide 4,500 out-of-school children and adolescents -- more than half of them girls -- with access to primary education.
“The people of Japan will continue to support the Government of Sindh to improve education indicators,” said H.E. Mr. Ashida, Acting Consul General of Japan. “Decreasing the number of out-of-school children is at the heart of Japan’s development initiatives in the country,” he added.
The students will follow an accelerated learning programme which covers five years of school in 30 months, using a curriculum and learning materials developed thanks to JICA’s technical assistance to the Government of Sindh.
“Scaling up non-formal education, including service delivery, and allocating more funds is a priority task which we must undertake for the children of our country. We thank the Government of Japan for its generous support, and JICA and UNICEF for the technical assistance which they provided,” said Mr. Qazi Shahid Pervaiz, Secretary for School Education & Literacy Department in Sindh.
The centres, which are run by the Indus Resource Centre (IRC) and supported by UNICEF, target underprivileged children and adolescents living in urban slums in the city of Karachi and in two rural districts, Khairpur and Ghotki. The project includes teacher training and the provision of teaching and learning materials.
“Creating synergies among various partner organisations, especially with the inclusion of the communities, helps deliver results,” said Mr. Abid Gill, Deputy Chief Advisor, JICA. “Without the support of the communities, non-formal education cannot play its vital role,” he added.
Alternative learning programmes provide overage children and adolescents, especially girls, with access to flexible learning opportunities. They target both children who never had the chance to go to school as well as children who dropped out.
“UNICEF is grateful for Japan’s generous support to non-formal education, offering 4,500 girls and boys an opportunity to learn and fulfil their right to education,” said Ms. Aida Girma, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan.
This initiative will contribute to the implementation of the Sindh government’s Non-Formal Education Policy for out-of-school-children and adolescents in the province. It aims to help 600,000 out-of-school children learn within the next five years, using alternative learning programmes.
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