Written on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 by Steve Peacock
Pakistan’s most urbanized province lacks the “political commitment” and resources to properly educate its people, so the Obama Administration is stepping in to offer a little of both.
Obama through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the five-year Community Mobilization Project (CMP) which will deploy contractors to advise officials and communities in Pakistan’s Sindh Province.
CMP represents one component of the broader U.S. –funded Sindh Basic Education Program (SBEP), for which the White House last year pledged to infuse about $86 million toward improving targeted Pakistani educational systems.
The U.S. government considers its investments in the Pakistani people as an “essential component” of its overall strategy in Pakistan.
“In particular, providing support to women and children is critical to a peaceful and prosperous future for the country,” the SOW says. “USAID, specifically its education programs, has a key role to play in these efforts.”
The general goal of the CMP sub-project is “to sustain community mobilization and school based management through the engagement of the private sector,” according to a Statement of Work (SOW) that Patriot Update located through routine database research. USAID on Friday (Jan. 11) issued a solicitation seeking proposals from interested contractors.
Whereas SBEP involves the design, construction, and renovation of certain Pakistani schools, CMP specifically aims to get communities, school district officers, and private-sector groups more involved in the education system modernization process. CMP’s estimated cost is $25 million.
The program also set the goal of adding at least 10,000 new enrollments of girls into Sindh schools, in addition to “implementing a range of improved health practices including health and hygiene promotion and active screening programs aimed at improving children’s overall nutritional levels,” the SOW says.
“The primary beneficiaries of CMP are rural and urban male and females who are stakeholders in the education of children grades K to12 including parents, district government officials and community leaders.”
About 42% of Sindh residents live in the city of Karachi, a city of 18 million that USAID describes as “the economic hub of Pakistan.” However, the province’s “education indicators are low,” the agency says.
“Two thirds of women and one third of people above the age of ten in Sindh are illiterate,” according to the SOW. “Approximately thirty percent of school-aged children—approximately four million children aged 5 through 12—are not in school. Female participation in education remains a key challenge in Sindh.”
Source document: Solicitation No. SOL-391-13-000005