Written By: Arfa Chaudhry – Alight Pakistan/Islamabad
Rabia Bibi – A woman of true courage and valor! She teaches at ALIGHT’s* Non-Formal School in Shah Allah Ditta, Islamabad. She was merely 13 when she realized that she wanted to teach everyone around her, especially girls. She had hardly graduated high school and was already tutoring many children in her own house free of cost. Later, after her graduation, she started volunteering as a teacher in a school far away and taught there for 9 years.
In her neighborhood, she was still giving tuitions in the evening when one day the paths of an Alight Literacy Mobilizer and Rabia crossed ways. The literacy mobilizer was looking for a place to establish a non-formal school in the vicinity due to the presence of many out of school children in the neighborhood. Rabia’s mother happened to invite the literacy mobilizer at her house for a tea, and after a talk – everything worked out perfectly. Rabia’s mother opened her home to Alight and the out of school children in her community.
When Rabia got to know of this, she jumped with excitement and was ready to take on the role of a teacher as soon as possible. She believes “I see kids being denied of their right to education, I am not just going to teach them but also make them ambassadors of education for other out of school children.” 27 children have been enrolled in this school and the community has started sending more children on their way to this school.
Interesting fact – Rabia also conducts one gardening lesson per week for the school children. This has caused a major sense of responsibility in school children. They have even named their plants and love watering them.
Educate A Child (EAC) is a global initiative of Education Above All (EAA) Qatar, which aims to significantly reduce the number of children worldwide who are missing out on their right to education. The program is implemented (2018-20) across Pakistan by the Alight in collaboration with the Government of Pakistan (GoP).
*ARC is now becoming Alight