Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has approved the `Digital Learning’ project to be launched in collaboration with Tech the World Foundation (TTWF) to bring out-of-school children to school. He was presiding over a Board meeting of Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) held at CM House on Tuesday and attended by Minister of Education Syed Sardar Shah, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Chairman P&D Hassan Naqvi, Qaiser Bengali, Secretary Finance Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary School Education Akbar Leghari, MD SEF Kazi Kabir and other relevant officers. As per the plan, the project would start as a pilot program for around 10,000 out-of-school children in Southern Sindh and 2500 in-school children; if successful, it would be scaled to millions across the province. The Sindh government runs over 42,000 schools, representing the vast majority of schools in the province, with SEF being one arm running over 2600 schools. The chief minister said, “We have an education crisis in Sindh – the crisis of Access, Quality, and Accountability.” There was little to no accountability for learning outcomes and the situation had been vastly worsened by the recent floods, he added. During the discussion, Education Minister Sardar Shah said that the traditional approaches would not solve this crisis in an acceptable time frame. He added that the estimates of six to seven million out-of-school children in Sindh were not authentic figures but even if [estimates] were accepted, there was a need for 150,000 additional teachers and 25,000 new schools to bring those children to schools. Talking about the opportunity, Sardar Shah said that digital technology offered an unparalleled opportunity to solve this crisis in a relatively short time. MD SEF Kazi Kabir briefing the Sindh CM said that it would be a joint project between the SEF – Sindh government, and TTWF, which has pioneered digital learning in underprivileged communities and has been recognized by the World Bank and various other such institutions. “It [Digital technology] promotes self-learning and enables gamified learning which creates high engagement, resulting in accelerated learning and higher learning outcomes. It provides digital skills which are now a crucial component of functional literacy. Digital learning Is the new wave. It was massively validated recently by Covid. It enables adaptive learning, augmented reality, and virtual reality which would further enhance learning,” he told the meeting. The CM was told that TTWF used the world’s best educational games to teach reading, writing, and math, delivering them on tablets/smartphones, in a facilitated setting. The proposed solution is a mix of Digital Micro schools (MS) and in-school digital classrooms (IS) to provide access to out-of-school children in localities without schools and quality education for children enrolled in existing SEF schools. The meeting was told that the SEF in collaboration with TTWF could launch a micro-school for 100 children within two months and it would cost Rs. 3,500 per student/per month. Whereas, the TTWF in-school programme for 105 children costs Rs. 1,700 per student/per month and was managed by a facilitator who is trained in less than a week. The chief minister approved the proposal and directed the chief secretary to provide funds to start the project. Murad Ali Shah also directed MD SEF to start 125 micro-schools in the suburban areas of Karachi and Hyderabad immediately.