By Farhan Zafar
KARACHI: The Stipend Distribution Forms (SDP) of over 65 percent of the girls secondary schools in Sindh have not been submitted to the Reform Support Unit (RSU), putting the release of the next installment of World Bank’s (WB) financial assistance in jeopardy.
“The SDPs are imperative to apply for the next installment of around $10 million from the WB and in case they are not sent, the monthly stipend program for female students may be shutdown permanently from the next academic year,” sources in RSU told Daily Times. “The main responsibility to collect SDPs and their delivery to Education Department’s RSU is upon the Assistant District Officers (ADO), who have failed to perform their task within the stipulated time,” sources maintained.
At present, the monthly stipend program is being run in 1,000 girls secondary schools in various districts of the province. Out of the total, SDPs of only 343 schools have been forwarded to RSU to date.
According to the official figures of RSU made available, in four districts of the province, not a single SDP was submitted by the ADOs of the concerned towns and talukas. These districts include Karachi where 425 schools did not submit SDPs followed by Mirpurkhas with 44 schools, Thatta with 39 schools and Hyderabad with 99 schools.
However, the situation is comparatively better in somewhat less privileged districts including Badin where out of 130 schools, 117 submitted SDPs followed by Nawabshah with 76 out of 92 schools, Jamshoro with 29 out of 43 schools, Matiari with 51 out of 54 schools, Tando Illah Yar with 51 schools out of 55 schools and Tando Muhammad Khan with 18 out of 19 schools.
It is feared that the failure to submit SDPs with signatures of female students to WB within the set deadline could halt the next installment of its financial aid.
When contacted, RSU Deputy Chief Manager Saba Mushtaq said that the ADOs of the concerned areas were responsible for the collection of SDPs. “It is the duty of ADOs to send it to the RSU on time so that it could be forwarded to the WB for the release of the next installment of the loan,” she added. Defending the position of RSU, she opined, “If the stipend program is closed down, then the ADOs are to be held be responsible for the mishap.”
Source: Daily Times