Ministry of Federal Education and Professional on Monday signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ‘Ehsaas’ to bring back out of school children to schools and reduce the dropouts. Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar and Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood, co-chaired the MoU signing ceremony. The MoU aimed to tap additional human resources for the roll out of Ehsaas Education Stipends programme. On the occasion, a second MoU was also signed between Ehsaas and National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) to mobilize eligible families to enroll their children under Ehsaas Education Stipends. “Under the umbrella of Ehsaas, the launching of Education Stipends programme is just on the anvil and preparations are in full swing to roll it out nationwide. In this regard, Ehsaas is also signing MoUs with provinces to expand education stipends programme”, said Dr. Sania. “Federal Ministry for Education and Professional Training will fully collaborate with Ehsaas to bring back out of school children to schools and reduce the dropouts. Children of the eligible families can benefit from Ehsaas stipends to continue their studies till higher secondary education”, said Shafqat Mehmood. There are 18.7 million out-of-school children in the country. Ehsaas Education Stipends programme has been designed in coordination with provinces, and Federal Ministry of Education and Professional Training to avoid duplications; reduce disparities in primary to higher secondary education opportunities by raising attendance, school enrollment, and the school progression among out of school children particularly girls. Children of the deserving families registered with Ehsaas can get education stipends in schools and colleges registered with the concerned Education Departments to continue their secondary and higher secondary studies. National Ehsaas survey is on its last leg, based on which, 10 million families are being identified and enrolled this year under Ehsaas Kafaalat programme. Children in all classes, in every district, of all Ehsaas eligible families are eligible for Ehsaas Education Stipends. Ehsaas is also signing MoUs with the Secondary Education and Higher Education/Colleges’ Departments of provinces for identifying and providing education stipends to the eligible families. MoUs are aimed to forge collaboration between Ehsaas and provinces for effective implementation of education conditional cash transfers (CCT). The two MoUs were signed on Monday at the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training in Islamabad. Federal Secretaries from the Education Ministry and Ehsaas programme also joined the ceremony along with senior officials from both the Ministries. Naveed Akbar, Director General CCT, Ehsaas and Mohyuddin Ahmad Wani, Additional Secretary, Federal Ministry for Education and Professional Training signed the MoU. From NCHD, Hassan Baig from NCHD signed the MoU.