The opening ceremony of non-formal schools was held on Wednesday, February 22, 2023, at I-10/4 Girls Model School # 6. The honorable Parliamentary Secretary, Ms. Zeb Jaffar, graced the inauguration ceremony. Representatives of stakeholders include Ms. Tahira Sheikh, Managing Director of the National Education Foundation, Syeda Fasiha Batool, Program Lead of Solidar, and representatives of JICA, FDE Administration, and Ms. Fajer Rabia Pasha, Executive Director of PAGE. Team members of the NEF, Solidar, and Pakistan Alliance also attended the launch ceremony for Girls Education.

According to the findings, approximately 52,000 children between the ages of five and sixteen are out of school in the Islamabad Capital Territory. To address this issue, the National Education Foundation, Pakistan Alliance for Girls Education, and Solidar Pakistan have come together to provide quality education to out-of-school children (OOSC). The first step in this collaborative effort was the establishment of two schools in I-9/4 and I-10/4 of ICT to enroll OOSC.

This programme has been designed with a focus on cost-effectiveness, and NEF played a key role in bringing all stakeholders together and creating a forum where all stakeholders have pledged to bring children back to school.

The Pakistan Alliance for Girls’ Education mobilized its team to identify the targeted children in the I-9 and I-10 neighborhoods. The team held focus group talks, raised awareness, and persuaded local leaders to contribute to getting out-of-school children back to school. The team assured them of a cost-free, high-quality education. These efforts led to the enrollment of 60 pupils in just one week. NEF and Solidar Pakistan have been providing financial support in terms of teachers’ salaries and uniforms. To guarantee high-quality teaching, PAGE has provided teaching resources, refurbished the designated classrooms, and offered the schools ongoing monitoring and mentoring support. JICA has also generously provided books and offered technical assistance for this programme.

Moreover, the Pakistan Alliance for Girls Education (PAGE) and the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) have already been working since 2017 to deliver quality teaching, increase enrollment, and train teachers in ICT to support SDG 4. FDE’s kind support, facilitation, and collaboration enable PAGE to provide timely, smooth, and quality services to schools, teachers, and children. With the assistance of the FDE and the collaboration of its partners, PAGE has added two more schools to the formal school facility. Evening shifts are now being instated, and the FDE department is ensuring efficient resource use, which is a much-appreciated move towards the objective of making the ICT an OOSC-free zone.