Leveraging your Global Giving support has enabled BRAC to graduate over 600 pre-primary children in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province (formerly known as North West Frontier Province) during the 2009-2010 academic year (Year 1). This year (Year 2 – 2010-2011 academic year) your support made possible the enrollment and education of an additional 600+ children in KP, a province that borders Afghanistan. About 95% of last year’s children were successfully mainstreamed in to government elementary schools. We could not mainstreamed because their families left town to seek better economic opportunities.
BRAC schools traditionally have differed in that our model is a nonformal one that enrolls children who have dropped out, have missed out on enrolment at the right age, or anyone who have no education opportunity for whatever reason. Even for a one-year pre-primary program, the ages of children range between 4 to 6. Last year, there was one girl with a learning disability who came to BRAC’s preprimary school because the local primary school denied her enrollment at Class 1.
Our preliminary indications to date show that children who graduated from BRAC pre-primary are doing better than other children in the same school. With this year’s batch of kids, we are shooting for similar successes in mainstreaming them in to government schools. Our ability to mainstream pre-primary graduates is an important indicator of our performance.
There are three months left in Pakistan’s academic year. The current batch of year 2 kids will graduate in March. The education ministry officials of KP pay unannounced visits to BRAC preprimary schools, and the community is happy with BRAC’s work as well. They expect BRAC to stay for a long time (unlike other NGOs that have come and gone). One child asked us “Why is BRAC school closed on Sundays?” This is all the more remarkable considering that BRAC Pre-primary schools have far less holidays than the other schools in Pakistan.
For us to continue, we need your help. About $60,000 per year for each of the last 2 years enabled us to educate over 1,200 children. A new academic year is coming up soon. In a corner of the country where there is great mistrust of foreigners, BRAC is now fully embraced. Leveraging our experience in KP enabled us to open up new primary schools in Lasbela, Baluchistan (a place that is just as or even more forbidding than KP). We run the schools in parallel with our Target-Ultra-Poor program there.
Please donate to help make possible the continuity of our education work in Pakistan. Just like BRAC has scaled up education programs nationwide in every country we operate (Bangladesh, Afghanistan, to name a few), we have ambitions to scale up in Pakistan too, especially in the flood-affected areas. Closing the schools because of lack of resources is something we refuse to do because of the level of trust we have worked so hard to build in KP.
As of August 2010, the Pakistan education program is on track and doing well!
Twenty teachers have been trained and twenty schools are running with approximately 610 students. The graduated students from last year have been enrolled in government schools. Enrollment in government schools is one of the goals of the BRAC education program in Pakistan, which aims to accelerate children that were left-behind by the government schooling system and need to get back on track. Now, the program has taken on a new batch of children and hopes to be just as successful, with your support!
Luckily, the schools were unaffected by the flooding in the other regions of the country. BRAC had temporarily halted its microfinance operations in branches that were flooded, but the education program has continued uninterrupted.
Thank you to all of those who have supported this Education program, and to all who have supported BRAC's Flood Relief and Rehabilitation efforts in the past months. Also be sure to visit our blog for more program updates and reports at http://blog.bracusa.org.
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