Affordability has been cited as a major detractor of school enrolment among children in Pakistan. Costs associated to schooling don't just include the cost of enrolling schools, but span learning material expenses, activities and infrastructure related costs as well. Article 25-A, and the subsequent Sindh Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2013, provide for free and compulsory education for children aged five to sixteen in Sindh. The Free and Compulsory Education Act categorically states that,
‘No child shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing the school education.'
In this spirit, the provincial Education & Literacy Department as per policy of the Government of Sindh is providing free textbooks fro Kachi class to X to all government schools. Learning material for the students will also be provided through the funds of School Specific Budget.
To provide free textbooks to all students enrolled in public sector schools.
All public sector schools in Sindh (Katchi to Grade X)
The free textbook initiative was first introduced in 1992, initially covering female students from Grade I to V. The program now covers male and female students from early childhood education to grade X. The Sindh Textbooks has now established IT Database in its head office at Jamshoro. The enrolment for next academic session i.e. 2017-17 has been obtained through bio-metric system by the STBB. The free books will also be distributed through the mechanism of IT innovation from main Godowns of Sindh Textbook Board to the all Ware Houses at Taluka/Town level. In addition, Monitoring Teams consisting of officers and IT personnel have been constituted to make ensure 100% delivery of free textbooks at all government schools
The distribution of free textbooks greatly reduces the cost burden of attending school, thereby creating a conducive environment for incremental school enrolment.