Written By: Syed Muhammad Abdullah Hameed – ARC Pakistan/Islamabad
Over 60 students at Jaab Chajar Star School, Bari Imam, Islamabad look forward to a fun-filled learning day. Until recently, these girls from most humble backgrounds couldn’t go to school owing to financial constraints and cultural barriers. There was no school in nearby area and parents were not willing to send their girls far to attend the school. Educate A Child (EAC) program in Pakistan focuses on creating opportunities for these children in both formal and non-formal education schools and enrol One Million Out of School Children (OOSC) in schools.
Located in suburbs of Islamabad, Jaab Chajar Star School is the only non-formal school catering to the education needs of primary school going children of the area. Before the school was established, parents couldn’t afford private schooling for their children ultimately resulting in higher proportion of OOSC in the community, majority of whom were girls. The community mobilization team of the program worked day in day out with the community members highlighting the importance of education for children and communities. All the hard work resulted in community members taking the initiative of establishing the first non-formal school where the female teacher is also from the same area and trusted by parents. This school has a sharp focus on bringing girls back to school.
“I feel proud and happy because I can read few of the signboards in the neighbourhood and am also able to write my own name” said Laiba, a Grade 1 student at Jaab Chajar Star School, Bari Imam, Islamabad.
Since its opening parents shown interest in sending their children to school. The school now has a student population of 60 students including both girls and boys. With teachers playing a proactive role in creating a safe learning environment, the students are showing exemplary interest in education.
Educate A Child (EAC) is a global initiative of Education Above All (EAA), which aims to significantly reduce the number of children worldwide who are missing out on their right to education. The three years (2018-2020) program is implemented in 55 districts across Pakistan by the American Refugee Committee (ARC) in collaboration with Government of Pakistan (GoP) with an aim to enrol One Million Out-of-School Children.