Japan funds $12.7m for upgrading girls’ primary schools in rural Sindh

ISLAMABAD     -    The government of Japan yesterday agreed to provide new grant assistance worth 1,686 million Japanese Yen - equivalent to around $ 12.7 million for upgrading primary girls’ schools into elementary schools in rural Sindh.

A signing ceremony for the assistance was held yesterday at the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Islamabad. WADA Mitsuhiro, Ambassador of Japan, KINOSHITA Yasumitsu, Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Dr Kazim Niaz, Secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs, and other officials from both countries attended this ceremony.

The project has been conceived keeping in view the facts that the number of middle/elementary schools is much lower (2,162) than the primary schools (35,377) in rural Sindh. This particular issue is also adversely affecting the primary school student’s retention & the biggest cause of student’s dropout from school.

The net enrolment rate for lower-secondary education (grades 6-8) is 49 percent (boys 53 pc, girls 45 pc). Girls in government schools drop out drastically from primary education as the middle or high schools are not available in close vicinity, particularly in rural Sindh. According to Alif Alan, the accessibility distance hinders girls’ education more (13 percent dropout due to access) than boys (5 percent dropout due to access).

This project aims to improve access of girls’ middle education by providing school facilities for female students in rural areas of Sindh province. This is the third grant aid through which Japan will be upgrading 20 new primary girls’ schools into elementary schools, which brings the total number of schools provided with Japan’s assistance to 74. The assistance contributes to improve the school enrolment rate and gender equality in the target areas, contributing to the SDGs Goal 4 (Quality education) and 5 (Gender equality).

Addressing the signing ceremony, WADA Mitsuhiro stated, “This project will also be implemented in the areas affected by the flood. I sincerely hope that this project will contribute to the reconstruction efforts of Pakistani people.”

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