Dr. Sania unveils details about nationwide rollout of massively reformed Waseela-e-Taleem, under the Ehsaas umbrella program scaled up nationwide, made end-to-end digital, girls get higher stipend amount
Islamabad, November 12, 2020 (PPI-OT): The Prime Minister during his visit to Balochistan tomorrow will be briefed about the nation-wide rollout of Ehsaas’ Taleemi-Wazaif for primary school going children under Waseela-e-Taleem program. The PM will join the children and their parents to witness new enrolments of deserving children in Waseela-e-Taleem. Following a briefing on the recent deep-rooted reforms introduced in Waseela e Taleem under the umbrella of Ehsaas, Prime Minister will oversee details of a girl child being entered in the end-to-end digital system. At the site, he will also witness the payment being made to the child’s mother.
Pakistan has been running an Education Conditional Cash Transfer for primary school going children called Waseela-e-Taleem since 2012 in selected districts. Now, this program is being expanded nationwide, representing a major quantum change. In the past, the program encountered a number of challenges namely high administrative cost, weak compliance monitoring system, low stipend amount and high error and fraud due to a paper-based approach. Over the last year and a half, a comprehensive and deep-rooted reform was designed and deployed as a result of which far reaching changes have been made in the program. There are four key pillars of reform: First, end-to-end digitization of a number of processes, which were previously managed manually.
Apps have been developed which are used by staff to register children and monitor compliance. Secondly, cost-effective changes institutional infrastructure was developed to expand this program nationwide and reliance on NGOs was eliminated. Because of this, operational cost has been reduced from 8% to 3%. Third, the stipend given to children has been modified as per Ehsaas’ new Stipend policy. Children of poorest families will now be provided conditional cash grants of Rs. 1,500 for boy child and Rs. 2,000 per quarter for girl child on attainment of 70% attendance in school.
Finally, and most importantly, the program is being expanded to all districts of the country. Education Conditional Cash Transfers are an important pillar of Ehsaas and are included in the Ehsaas framework as Policy #73 ‘Education Conditional Cash Transfers’. Education Conditional Cash Transfers serve the dual purpose of socially assisting vulnerable households and at the same time reduce the number of out of school children, which is an important outcome for Pakistan given that there are 19.1 million out-of-school children in the country. Overall budget this year is 8 billion.
Overall, in the Ehsaas umbrella, there are many enhancements for South Balochistan districts of Washuk, Kharan, Chagai, Mastung, Khuzdar, Lasbela, Awaran, Panjgur, Turbat, Gwadar. Two new Panahgahs will be opened in two districts, one in Lasbela Industrial Zone and the other in Gwadar Economic Zone by January 31, 2021. Two new orphanages will be set up in Kharan and Turbat by December 31, 2020. In Ehsaas Amdan, two new districts of South Balochistan, Lasbela and Gwadar are being added. Under Ehsaas interest free loans program, 4 new districts, Gwadar, Panjgur, Awaran and Kech are being added.
In Ehsaas Kafaalat, the number of beneficiaries in South Balochistan are projected to increase from currently 38,604 to 62,152 beneficiaries over the next 4 months. Ehsaas Nashonuma program is being introduced in Kharan and Khuzdar. Total 6,625 beneficiaries will be registered under Nashonuma in these two districts and will get specialized nutritious food to prevent stunting in children along with cash stipend (Rs. 2000 for girl child and Rs. 1,500 for boy child per quarter). Under Ehsaas Undergrad Scholarship program, around 3,000 scholarships have been awarded to deserving and talented students of Balochistan in the year 2019-20.
In Turbat district, 654 undergraduate scholarships have been awarded. Other than Washuk, Mastung and Kalat, the Ehsaas Survey has been completed. Ehsaas Registration desks are being set up in every tehsil after the survey to ensure that missed households can come forward and register themselves. Desks are operational in every tehsil of Turbat and are being set up in the other districts over the next three months. During the COVID-19 situation, Ehsaas Emergency Cash worth Rs. 2.824 billion was disbursed in 10 districts of South Balochistan among 233,254 beneficiaries.
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