With more than six million children out of school in Sindh—more than 50 percent of them girls—Blumont has worked throughout the province to improve education and bring kids back to class.
Blumont’s USAID-funded Sindh Community Mobilization Program (CMP) leverages community support for local schools, small grants, and capacity building for school management committees (SMCs) to enact positive, lasting change. Providing workshops on school reform, policy, and grants management to SMCs and electricity and furniture for classrooms has encouraged more parents to send their children to school. Since 2013, Blumont has issued nearly 400 small grants to SMCs and helped establish nearly 440 school improvement plans, and communities across Sindh are reaping the benefits.
When Blumont began working at the Government Boys High School Railway Colony in Jacobabad District in 2014, the community had little interest in being involved in the education system. Broken toilets, missing furniture, electricity issues, and teacher absenteeism contributed to high dropout rates.
To increase community involvement, Blumont organized community meetings on school improvements, health, and the importance of education for girls and began training the local SMC on financial management for small grants. Supported by these efforts, the community adopted a sense of ownership and passed a resolution to send their children, especially girls, to school.
“Before CMP’s intervention, people of this village were not even willing to listen to the idea of sending their girls to school,” Head Teacher Muhammad Yousif said. “But now they are aware of the importance of education and allowing their daughters to attend school.”
The school’s SMC, like other primary schools in Sindh, includes five members—the Head Teacher, two parents, and two notable community members. Together, the SMC utilized small grants totaling PKR 300,000 to increase student enrollment. By repairing washrooms, painting and renovating classrooms, installing solar panels, and providing furniture, the learning environment drastically improved and prompted parents to enroll children, including more girls.
Similar results were seen at the Government Boy’s Primary School Gadani in Larkana District. Blumont established a foundation for reform by restructuring the SMC and engaging parents and students in community-led winter camps, school events, enrollment campaigns, and health, nutrition, and hygiene awareness sessions.
“We never realized the importance of joint community development efforts and collective wisdom,” the SMC Chairperson said. The school has seen the standard of education rise since these efforts: regular classes with student-centered teaching pedagogy and enriched curriculum have increased attendance, facility upgrades via small grants have improved the learning environment, and the re-organized and re-trained SMC has brought women into leadership positions.
A recent two-year extension to CMP is bringing these results to all 29 districts of Sindh Province and aims to strengthen an additional 350 SMCs to enhance accountability and sustainability of school governance.
CMP is a USAID-funded program that supports the Government of Sindh’s education reform and USAID’s Sindh Basic Education Program. 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.