School Girls’ Stipend Through Easy Paisa/ATM Card Scheme by Government of Sindh, Pakistan
Government of Sindh has initiated a broad based Education Reform Program to deal with issues of access, quality and governance that challenge education sector in Sindh. Under one component of this program, all the girls studying in class VI-X are being provided annual stipend in an effort to address huge gender disparity in education attainment in Sindh.
The Education & Literacy Department, Government of Sindh initiated distribution of Stipends since 2001-2002 under the Sindh Structural Adjustment Credit (SAAC). The Reform Support Unit has taken this responsibility from 2005-2006 through Money Orders.
The Stipends are given to girl students only who are studying from class-VI to X in any Government School. This intervention is of two types.
Standard Stipends Policy (SSP)
Differential Stipends Policy (DSP)
Reform Support Unit (RSU), under SSP distributed stipend to girl students amounting to Rs. 1,000/- per student studying in class-VI to X till 2008-09. But from the academic session of 2009-10, the amount has been enhanced from Rs. 1,000/- to 2,400/- per annum throughout the Sindh (except DSP talukas). In DSP talukas, the beneficiaries received Rs. 2,400/- till 2008-09 and from 2009-10 the stipend amount has been enhanced to Rs. 3,600/- per student in those talukas where the transition rate from class 5 to class 6 is low. The rationale behind this scheme is to increase the enrollment of girl students in secondary classes in remote and unprivileged areas of Sindh. Under DSP, 30 low transition rate talukas are selected by World Bank and from 2010-11, fifteen (15) more talukas from severely flood affected districts are proposed to be taken up for DSP status ,thus, the number of DSP talukas in the academic year 2010-11 would stand 45.
During year 2005-06, Reform Support Unit distributed stipends among 2,80,045 girl students throughout Sindh. The number of beneficiaries were 2,96,567 in 2006-07, 2,59,539 in 2007-08, 3,30,941 in 2008-09 and 3,70,000 in 2009-2010 respectively.
The World Bank and the European Commission are also providing assistance to this program through an IDA credit by the World Bank and an education sector grant by the European Commission. Both the development partners monitor implementation of the program to ensure achievement of targets agreed with them. The continuity of their support depends upon the evidence that all the targets are achieved on time. One Disbursement Linked Indicator is on time stipends delivery to the girl students and availability of 90% acknowledgement receipts of each district that are sent back to the RSU.