SPECIAL Assistant on Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar has come up with yet another important initiative that will go a long way in promoting enrolment at school level.
A meeting chaired by her on Saturday approved first of its kind Ehsaas secondary education conditional cash transfer programme to enable deserving households to send their children to educational institutions.
Under the programme, underprivileged children will be provided with cash grants of Rs 2500 for boy child and Rs 3000 for girl child quarterly on fulfilment of seventy percent attendance.
Poverty is one of the most persistent barriers to acquiring education. Presently there are 18.7 million children in the age group of 6 to 16 years who are out of school in the country and the fall out of Covid-19 may accentuate that.
Different surveys indicate that dropout rate among poorest in secondary education is highest.
Girls are severely disadvantaged in initial enrolment levels and they dropout faster from grades 5-8.
n this backdrop, the launch of stipend programme is a step in the right direction, which will encourage poor families to send their children including girls to schools and finally come out of the vicious cycle of poverty.
We will suggest PTI government to further improve stipend programme by also providing laptops and broadband devices to deserving students of 9th and 10th class so that they could also take benefit from online classes and closure of schools due to Covid-19.
The best part of programme being executed under the umbrella of Ehsaas is that they are not only being envisaged but also being implemented on the ground in transparent, efficient and apolitical manner.
Credit for this definitely goes to Sania Nishtar whose professional dedication is her signature.
She has brought Ehsaas programme to the stage where it is now receiving international recognition.
We are confident that she will continue to put in her best not only to provide relief to the poor but also direct efforts towards graduating them from poverty and that will be the true success of Ehsaas.