MINISTER OF STATE ENGR MUHAMMAD BALIGH UR REHMAN ATTENDED THE CONFERENCE ON IMPACT EVALUATION OF WASEELA E TALEEM PROGRAM BY BISP AS CHIEF GUEST TODAY. Islamabad

Minister of State congratulated Ms Marvi Memon Chairman BISP and her team for successfully running this program of Waseela e Taleem. It’s a great initiative and must be continued with full dedication, said the Minister. BISP started Waseela e Taleem, a conditional cash transfer program in Nov 2012 to enroll and retain out of school children of BISP beneficiary families till June 2016.

Waseela e Taleem program is operational in 32 districts of the country targeting 2 million out of school children by Dec 2017 with cash incentive of Rs 250/child/month. This program is to encourage the beneficiary families to enroll their children.Talking about the Program Minister of State has suggested increasing the amount of stipend from Rs. 250/child/month to Rs. 500/child/month, as it would be more appropriate. Moreover he said that attendance must also be ensured in the schools after the enrollment drive.

Oxford Policy Management (OPM) shared their findings of this program at the conference as they were engaged by BISP for conducting impact evaluation of the program. According to the impact evaluation WeT Program has had a positive impact on education outcome so far but there are certain challenges which need to be dealt with. Shortage of schools especially for girls in remote areas, teachers’ absenteeism, missing facilities in schools and other such things are the major causes of out of school children. These factors suggest the importance of an integrated, sector wide approach to education at federal as well as provincial level.

Talking at the occasion, Minister of State said that problems like gender disparity, access to education, quality of education, missing facilities at school etc do exist, but things have improved over the period of 3 years. Government departments, evaluation departments like NEAS and others have started working and the next report is going to be published soon in this regard. Minister of State admired and appreciated the support extended by Musharraf Zaidi from Alif Ailan in this regard as well. Minister of State said that there are no cultural issues anymore; parents want to send their children to schools provided they have access to education.He said that net enrollment rate has been improved to 72%, gender disparity has been reduced and primary net enrollment rate for girls has been improved from 63% in 2014 to 68% in 2015. Missing facilities has been improved from 43% in 2014 to 33% in 2015, so things are not as bleak as they seem to be, stressed the minister. Moreover he said report/data presented by PSLM are not 100% correct so we should not be relying only on one source. He further added that Ministry of Federal Education has initiated Malala Fund program for girls’ education in collaboration with UNESCO.Talking about the provincial coordination, Minister of State mentioned the success and achievements of IPEMC (Inter Provincial Education Minister’ Conference), e.g. Minimum standards of education and Momentum standards if teaching have been approved in these conferences.There is always a room for improvement but we must not overlook the progress altogether, said the minister.

In the end, Minister of State again congratulated the team of BISP for starting this ambitious program and said that it is in line with the government’s National Action Plan of incentivizing the destitute.

Conference was attended by Tania Lone Representative OPM, Musharraf Zaidi Director Campaign Alif Ailan, Mazhar Siraj DFID, Ambreen Arif World Bank, donor partners and other officials.

Source: Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage