Education sector in Pakistan is plagued with a multitude of problems, with the level of low enrollment and high drop-out rate in the primary sector, being of dominant nature. A total of 293 Government Girls Schools in District Swat alone have been destroyed by militant attacks, and the terrible floods of 2010 have further ravaged the educational infrastructure of the District, leaving several children to assist their parents in run-ning the household. the 3 Union Councils of Swat, namely Madyan, Teeraat and Bahrain have a high propor-tion of out of school children owing to the absence of an educational infrastructure, terrible geographical terrain, thereby reducing accessibility to relatively distant educational facilities, especially for girls, and the over-all poor socioeconomic status of the inhabitants, further limiting the options for their children.
Peace and Development Organization (PADO), an NGO based in District Swat, has taken the initiative of improving the educational status of the region and reducing the illiteracy level by enrolling children in 15 community based non-formal schools. These schools, with no age limit for enrollment, will give a confidence boost to the children and involve them in striving towards making a better future for themselves. With USAID’s assistance through a grant of $244, 240 under the USAID’s Small Grants Program, PADO, over a three year period, will be establishing 15 community based non-formal schools for approximately 1500 chil-dren along with training 30 teachers for Grades 1 to Grade 5.
Learning Has No Bounds
“It is a great effort being put in by PADO and USAID to enroll our children and teach them to read and write,” said a relived mother of a 9 year old girl who has been helping her mother run the household while the mother works in the fields during the day.
PADO has launched the project and has completed the social mobilization process for Year 1 of the pro-ject, having identified 15 teachers to undergo a teacher training program. This training is being conducted by Jugnoo Masters to train them in Jugnoo curriculum for grades 1 to grades 3.