In order to review Sindh Basic Education Program’s (SBEP) progress and assess its sustainability, USAID organized an SBEP Implementing Partners meeting on December 14, 2017. The idea was to engage with stakeholders in building program cohesiveness and coordination, to jointly reflect on the program’s successes and challenges, and to discuss a ‘way forward’ for the successful completion of the program.
Dr. Randy Hatfield, Program Manager, SBEP/USAID, welcomed all SBEP partners and partner representatives to the meeting. He highlighted that USAID and the Government of Sindh (GOS) have developed a strong partnership which is helping the School Education & Literacy Department (SELD) accomplish their goal of improved education in the province through public-private partnerships. Dr. Hatfield went on to state that SBEP is not just a program, it is a reform, which GOS SELD is proposing to donors for adoption in other geographic areas.
Following Dr. Hatfield’s welcome and opening words, Abdul Wahab Soomro, Program Director, Program Management & Implementation Unit (PMIU), shared a detailed presentation on where the program currently stands. He acknowledged the role of Community Mobilization Program (CMP) as crucial in softening the ground, involving the community and addressing challenges which smoothed the way for rest of the program’s components. He also highlighted other partners’ efforts that have helped to make the program unique and inclusive.
The Secretary, SELD, shared his satisfaction with the program and recalled his near two-decade association with Dr. Hatfield. He described SBEP as a comprehensive program, and stated that the government is proposing this model to several other donors due to its value and ability to provide quality education to all children in Sindh. He thanked all participants and ensured his commitment and support to SBEP.
Grace W. Shelton, US Consul General, shared her concluding remarks and mentioned that education is among the top priorities of the U.S. for Pakistan and that she is proud to have GOS SELD as a partner in SBEP. She also acknowledged Dr. Hatfield’s efforts and mentioned that his leadership has pointed things in a positive and sustainable direction.
Representatives from SBEP components including Halcrow, CMP, Sindh Reading Program and Sindh Capacity Development Project also gave brief presentations of their respective programs. The presentations reflected on SBEP since 2011; where they have been, experiences, partnerships, coordination, future directions and turning challenges into opportunities.
All of the presenters and participants paid gratitude to Dr. Hatfield for his efforts to make this program a successful model which GOS SELD can use for rest of the province.
CMP is a USAID-funded program that supports the Government of Sindh’s education reform and USAID’s SBEP. CMP improves school resources and encourages community support for educational reform in Sindh province while identifying and addressing primary barriers to access, particularly for female students.