The vision of the pilot is to adopt positive practices through which hygiene, social distancing, and immunity boosting knowledge can be incorporated in daily routines at schools and in homes. The shutting down of schools for six months to prevent the spread of Covid-19 affected the educational routines of over 40 million students in Pakistan. With no precedence of such a disruption, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) a bilateral partner of the Government of Pakistan, reached out to the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training (MoFE&PT) to collaborate for a pilot program. ITA is the implementing partner for this project. The Safe School Reopening Pilot (SRP) aims to test possibilities, assess risks and develop mitigation plans for safe and sustainable schools, averting the spread of Covid-19.
The yearlong pilot follows a quasi-experimental research design. Baseline survey has been conducted in 40 FDE schools. The schools have been divided into two groups of 20 each, with one group being the treatment or intervention group and the other being control. Using the baseline analysis, the intervention group is being introduced with three different types of strategic Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) with the goal to create an evidence informed fully costed scalable pilot for safe and healthy schools. Type 1 will be community mobilization and formation of vigilance committees, whereas type 2 and type 3 interventions will include infrastructure/equipment provision and empowerment/behavioral change activities, respectively. The project’s impact will be measured on the 20 intervention schools, which currently have an enrollment total of 17,713 and 616 teachers.
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