NCHD makes 2,100 closed schools functional in Sindh

HYDERABAD, July 18: The National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) reopened 2,100 out of 6,800 non-functioning schools in Sindh as it aimed at helping the country achieve 85 per cent literacy rate by 2012, three years before the deadline of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), said NCHD Chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf on Tuesday.

Mr Ashraf told journalists during a visit to the Government Boys Primary School Jhuma Shahuk in Matiari that the commission's main objective was to ensure 100 per cent enrolment of children in schools.

The Sindh government had asked the commission to conduct a survey of non-functioning schools as it believed the number of such schools came to 7,000 but the "NCHD's survey found 6,800 schools non-functioning out of which 3,500 has been reopened," he said.

He said that 25 such schools were made functional in Matiari alone, which had allocated finds for the schools and teachers. The commission made trained around 790 teachers in Matiari and there was only one teacher for 40 students, he added.

"We are enhancing capacity building of district governments and trying to achieve 85 per cent literacy rate so that in every sector sustainability is achieved," he said.

Mr Ashraf said that in health sector the commission had focused on ORS (oral re-hydration solution) to cut down number of deaths among children by 30 per cent.

A total of 400 volunteers had worked outstandingly during recent cyclone in Balochistan, a fact which was also confirmed by the governor, he said and added that the commission distributed food and medicines worth Rs2.5 million in Balochistan.

The volunteers played a vital role for ensuring 100 per cent enrolment of students in schools. They approach a family and convince it to send children to school, he said.

He appreciated Matiari district government for giving an encouraging response to the commission and said he did not get such response elsewhere in the country.

Matiari District Nazim Mohammad Ali Shah Jamote, DCO Usman Chachhar and senior general manger of NCHD, Sohail Rajput, were also present on the occasion. Dawn

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