Balochistan Education Project
Balochistan Education Project is implemented by the Secondary Education Department Government of Balochistan with the financial support by the Global Partnership for Education. World Bank in Pakistan is looking after the project as supervising entity and UNICEF as coordinating agency. The project covers four main thematic areas of the Balochistan Education Sector Plan (2013-18) i.e. Access, Equity, Quality and Governance in public sector education system across 31 districts of the province. The three-year project will establish 725 gender-free primary schools and upgrade 120 schools to the next levels (95 primary schools to middle and 25 middle schools to secondary/higher secondary level). This intervention is expected to contribute in improving access to education for all children in general and equity for girls and marginalized groups in particular.
Project Development Objectives
The proposed development objective of the Project is to increase school enrollment and retention in project supported schools with a special focus on girls’ participation; and to develop mechanisms for information collection and use for the improved management of education.
PDO Level Results Indicators:
Key results would be measured against the following three indicators:
• Percentage increase in school enrollment (disaggregated by gender) in existing and new schools established by proposed GPE grant;
• Percentage increase in retention of children (disaggregated by gender) in existing and new schools established by the proposed GPE grant;
• Regular reports generated and made public annually on selected indicators for schools.
Global Partnership for Education
The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) – formerly known as Education for All–Fast Track Initiative – provides more than 65 developing country partners to ensure that every child receives quality basic education, prioritizing the poorest, most vulnerable and those living in fragile and conflict-affected countries. GPE aims to improve access to education, provides resources, technical support needed to develop and implement national/provincial education sector plans to ensure universal primary education. Created in 2002, the GPE has provided US$2.2 billion in financial aid between 2004 and 2010 and helped to ensure that an estimated 19 million children can attend school. Partners include developing countries, donor governments, NGOs and global civil society organizations. In case of Pakistan, the partnership gets financial support from the World Bank with Balochistan and Sindh Governments as implementing body and UNICEF as coordinating body. For more details Click Here
The Government of Pakistan joined the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) in 2012 and after the endorsement of Balochistan Education Sector Plan 2013-2017. An allocation of US$ 100 million was made for Pakistan, US$ 34 million of which was allocated for Balochistan and US$ 66 million for Sindh.
The Challenges of Education in Balochistan
Balochistan continues to face challenges towards achieving universal primary education despite enhanced budget allocation by the government of Balochistan for education. Some 1 million children of primary school age are still out of school and many others have dropped out of the education system or study Islamic education in Madrassas (religious schools). Universal primary education remains a distant dream largely as a result of inequities especially for girls and special groups like disabled children. The issue of access is largely hampered by lack of schools in various packets of the scattered population and extreme dearth of basic facilities in schools. Children living in poor rural areas especially girls, as well as those with disabilities, are the most likely to be out of school. Those already in school are learning very little resulting in a vicious cycle of poor learning outcomes and lack of quality education.
The geographically vast province of Balochistan performs low on all social indicators. Reasons for such alarming statistics are attributed to generalized causes such as gender discrimination whereby girls are not enrolled at school, misconceptions regarding economic returns of education etc. The educational scenario of the province is marred by the largest dropout rates, low level of female literacy and a huge burden of missing facilities in the schools.
Key Interventions and Expected Outcomes
Balochistan Education Project is working to contribute significant improvements in access and quality of education. From 2015 to 2018, the project aims to deliver the following results:
• Establishment of 725 gender-free primary schools with the provision of two female teachers in each school to discourage multi-grading in primary schools
• Up-gradation of 95 primary schools to middle level and 25 middle schools to high level
• Training of teachers on ECE and teaching methodologies
• Value addition to education by building partnerships, harnessing avenues for higher education with a specific focus on girls participation
• Provision of teaching learning material and furniture to all focused schools
• Provision of EST Teachers in Mathematics, Science and IT subjects in middle and High schools
• Technical Assistance for improved capacity for Management and Monitoring which includes:
• Establishment of Performance Management Cell in Secondary Education Department
• Real Time School Monitoring System established in all 31 districts
• Support to Education Management Information System (EMIS)
Furthermore, the Project Management Unit in coordination with Education Department has identified 200 abandoned government buildings to transform them to establish schools. The primary schools under the project are gender-free to accommodate maximum number of boys and girls in a community. The schools established under the project will stand out from other schools in terms of having the following distinguishing facitlities:
• Early Childhood Education classrooms in all 845 focused schools and teacher training program on ECE
• Child friendly environment for early grade students
• Use of empirical data for decision making (Comprehensive MIS Dashboard of the project supported schools developed)
• Provision of solar energy panels to the classrooms for high schools.
• Learning Resource Centers with library and IT facility in selected high schools
• Community-driven approach and focus on community ownership
• Parent-Teacher Committees/Local Councils-PTSMCs and Local Education Councils (LECs) for the proper management and development of schools
• Teachers training and development program
• Focus on quality education and learning outcomes
• Play areas and Environment Clubs in each school
Project Highlights (As of 2018)
• 666 new schools established throughout the province of Balochistan
• 95 Girls primary schools have been upgraded to Middle Schools
• 25 Girls Middle schools have been upgraded to High Schools
• 1308 Junior Vernacular Teachers hired through National Testing Service (NTS)
• 226 Elementary School Teachers hired through National Testing Service (NTS)
• 342 teachers taken onboard after successful selection through National Testing Service (NTS)
• 525 new school buildings have been constructed
• 200 abandoned buildings have been renovated as functional schools
• 120 upgraded school buildings have been constructed
• Real Time Monitoring System (RTSM) is up and running
• The summary for post project teachers salary has been approved by cabinet for the sustainability of the intervention
• ECE, TLM, PTSMCs, Teacher Training, provision of solar energy panels, use of empirical data for decision making, Learning Resource Centers etc. provided in every school
• PTSMCs for all schools have been formed and trained
• Last but not least, the project has introduced a number of Pioneering Initiatives over the last one year of implementation
• Land mutations completed for all focused school sites