The Education and Literacy Programme remains the largest and the fastest growing initiative of IRC. It is indeed, IRC’s niche and the main reason for IRC’s position within the non-profit sector in Sindh. The Programme has expanded substantially since its inception in 2001 when it started with a few one-room one-teacher literacy centres in Khairpur. From the outset, IRC has been pursuing the following vision for its schools: “IRC envisions schools that focus on the holistic development of children as peaceful and responsible citizens who can meet the challenges of work and life.”
In 2020, IRC’s education program has reached to 28852 students, out of them 15279 are boys and 13573 are girls with 998 IRC supported teachers out of which 716 are females. These numbers include the enrolment of about 9885 Out Of School Children in its 330 Non-Formal Education (NFE) Centres in Karachi, Hyderabad, Khairpur and Ghotki.
IRC MANAGED SCHOOLS:
IRC managed Schools are two types: 1) “IRC Sojhro Schools” which are owned and operated by the IRC. The programme started as a small experiment in 2001 with the support of Development in Literacy (DIL). Since then it has gradually grown in all directions – number of schools, enrolment, physical capacity and quality. Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) contributed in a big way in this expansion and DIL has continued this partnership. From June 2020, the schools are receiving subsidy support by Sindh Education Foundation through Existing Schools Support program. 2) “SEF Assisted Schools” were opened back in year 2015 under formal partnership with the Sindh Education Foundation. The schools are located in remote and unserved areas of Jamshoro such as Sehwan Taluka and Thano Bulla Khan Taluka, and of Sukkur such as Saleh Pat tehsil.
Brief Summary of “IRC Sojhro Schools”
IRC-Sojhro Schools in Sindh (23 Schools)
# of Schools
# of teachers
Jamshoro and Dadu
Brief Summary of “SEF Assisted Schools”
IRC’s SEF-Assisted Schools in Sindh (39 Schools)
# of Schools
Adopted and Partner Schools:
- Management of 9 government adopted schools of Rehri Goth:
During 2009-10, IRC extended its education project in coastal areas of Karachi, particularly Rehri Goth. The project started with the improvement of physical infrastructure with the permission of the government but soon it was realized that the schools are grossly under-staffed. In 2009, in a cluster of 5 schools only 216 students were enrolled and the attendance of these students was not even 50%.
Therefore, IRC adopted a cluster of 9 schools (5 primary and 1 lower secondary) along with 3 under construction schools. It signed an MOU in 2010 with the Government of Sindh for managing these schools that was followed by a proper adoption of these schools in 2014. The funding was ensured by PPAF initially for three years however, it was extended later on.
- Management of 5 Government Schools as Educational Management Organisation (EMO) in Khairpur:
Through a comprehensive and transparent bidding process, IRC has been selected to manage 5 schools of Khairpur District that have been recently built and furnished by USAID under Sindh Basic Education Program. IRC, like other EMOs, has signed a ten-year contract with the Government of Sindh with specific Key Performance Indicators against its performance will be evaluated. The resources to improve the quality are being provided by the Government of Sindh.
The KPIs are related to all the aspects of school – governance, management, students’ performance, teachers’ lesson planning, health and hygiene of students, learning environment, increase in enrolment particularly of girls, quality and use of school facilities, etc. The position in April 2019 is as under:
iii: Management of 15 government schools with the support of Engro Foundation in Sukkur and Ghotki:
It is a story of tripartite relationship. With the financial support of Engro Foundation, IRC is providing holistic support to 15 government schools of Ghotki and Sukkur (NARA) districts. It has provided additional teachers, mostly females, teachers’ training, computer labs in most of the schools, computer training, co-curricular activities and other missing facilities. IRC is working in these schools for more than four years. The details of enrolment and teachers are as follows:
Status of IRC Adopted/ Managed Govt. Schools:
IRC Adopted/ Managed Govt. Schools
# of Schools
# of IRC Teachers
Khairpur (EMO Schools)
Literacy & Non-formal Education:
IRC was always an advocate of the rights of Out Of School Children (OOSC) to get education and to be mainstreamed in formal education system. Hence at every relevant forum, it supported this cause and talked about opening of windows of education for those who have missed their first chance in getting into schools.
It is a heartening development that through Sindh Education Sector Plan (SESP) a detailed policy has been developed and approved by the cabinet that deals with issues such as curriculum, equivalence, certification, accreditation, teachers’ training and many other aspects of NFE.
Taking advantage of this situation, IRC with the support of UNICEF scaled up its Non-formal Education centres. In 2017 in Khairpur 600 over age children completed package A in eight months as prescribed by the Directorate and 507 of them were mainstreamed in class II. Now 330 NFE Centres in three clusters of Karachi, Hyderabad city, Khairpur and Ghotki districts are functioning. A large number of adolescents are beyond the school going age but this education will help them in vocational training or in living a better and more informed life.
Non-formal Education Basic Centers
# of NFE
Improving Adolescent lives in Pakistan
Khairpur & Ghotki
Accelerated Education Program
Karachi & Hyderabad
Enhancement of non-formal education
Khairpur, Ghotki and Karachi
Adult Literacy Course for rural women:
With the vast experience in Non- formal Education and Literacy, during year 2020-21 IRC started a short-term initiative in district Khairpur. Through this program, 220 uneducated rural artisan women were registered for crash literacy course. 194 of them have successfully completed the course and have been certified by the Directorate of Literacy & NFE, Government of Sindh. The literacy course had helped them to read, write and do the basic math. Apart from that they are also facilitated to keep the record of their earning and savings. Local female teachers have been hired to run the classes on daily basis, 6 days a week for 3 hours each day.
Learning Beyond Curriculum
Medium of Instruction is Mother Tongue
At IRC, we realize that access to education is only part of the solution. For marginalized communities, access without quality education can be significantly damaging given the high opportunity cost of the time spent in schools.
Over the years, IRC has worked to create an education model that involves the entire community. The following salient features of IRC Sojhro Schools are based on this holistic approach and ensure a high quality of education: