Union Council (UC) Shamshatu, 25 kilometers southeast of Peshawar in the Frontier Region (FR) of Pakistan, is centuries behind in all walks of life, particularly the girls education. The literacy rate in FATA and its adjacent Frontier Regions stands at 16% for males and 3% for females which is the biggest obstacle in devel-opment of the tribal belt. The low literacy rate of the area is due to a number of contributing factors, political instability as a result of militancy and military operations being the most evident, capacity gaps in public sectors education system, relatively low quality education, higher and unattended dropout triggered by teacher’s absenteeism and deteriorated infrastructure are some other major reasons in this regard.
In 2009 Abaseen Foundation established Mian Gul Model School the first non-governmental school in the area of Shamshatu significantly to contribute in improving the existing literacy ratio especially among women in this particular tribal bet. Due to improved quality education offered at Mian Gul Model School, better ed-ucational infrastructure and environment and above all the willingness of the locals to educate their girls, there was an increasing pressure on the school’s administration to enroll more students from grade 1 to 10. Abaseen Foundation approached USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program to assist them with their efforts of providing quality education by extending their already established school through construc-tion of additional classrooms in order to increase the enrollment of students from existing 65 students up to 640. Small Grants Program awarded an 18 month grant of $240,997.
The proposed project will construct 16 additional classrooms, verandas, school halls and toilets. After completion the project will be able to enroll and benefit a total of 400 girls from Grade 1 to 10, and 240 boys at primary level. The development will also include an adult literacy facility, life-skills learning center, and a teachers training and resource facility. The construction of toilets will also improve health and hygiene facilities at the school and hence will check the dropout of adolescent girls.
“I am studying in Class 5 and I want to become a doctor. I am very happy that now we will be able to continue our education after the primary level; I am thankful to the USAID for helping us,” says an excited Meena, a scholarship holder at the Mian Gul Primary School.