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Pakistani province to denationalise 400 schools

 KARACHI, December 2 (Internews): Pakistan's southern Sindh province has
 decided to speed up its drive to denationalise over 400 schools by  handing over their reins to their previous owners.
 Sindh Education Department officials said here Sunday that they have so
 far denationalised 165 institutions while about 400 such institutions  are yet to be handed back to their original owners.
 The handover is part of provincial reforms programme and the process is  being accelerated in order to strengthen public-private partnership.
 The Education Department, in pursuance of a provincial cabinet decision on August 21, has also formulated a policy and criteria for re-transfer of educational institutions.
 Officials say that to promote public-private partnership, the Department has begun the process of leasing school buildings to the private sector and non-governmental organisations.
 Buildings constructed under the Parliamentarians Programme (schemes approved on the recommendations of Sindhi legislators) are also being offered to the private sector for purchase or lease.
 Also, under the Adopt-a-School programme of the Sindh Education Foundation, about 120 schools have been adopted by private sector and NGOs so far.
 "There is now a great recognition of the private sector's importance in
 education as it accounts for more than 40 per cent of student enrolment
 in urban areas of Sindh," one official said.
 In order to supplement government efforts in service delivery of education, the private sector is playing an increasingly important role, he added.
 He said that all such individuals and organisations that desire to apply for denationalisation of any particular institution can do so along with relevant papers including ownership documents and submit them in the office of the Executive District Officer Education, Karachi. -Internew

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