Starting early with girls' education in Pakistan

 
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$16,601
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Children learning in a BRAC pre-primary school
Children learning in a BRAC pre-primary school

With the help of GlobalGiving donors and outside funders, BRAC Pakistan initiated its Early Childhood Education Project in 2009 as a pilot with 20 pre-primary schools in the Haripur district of the Pakistani province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The project was successful in its initial phase and has been expanded to new locations in Haripur and two new districts in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province—Swabi and Charsadda. Two hundred new locations were chosen based on the absence of government schools, especially for girls in those respective areas.

The Early Childhood Education Project follows a community-driven model, ensuring active involvement by parents, BRAC teachers, and government teachers of local schools. According to a mid-term review conducted by an independent consultant, the model has been very successful as it found that students in the BRAC pre-primary schools showed significant improvements along a number of child development outcomes. The report showed that the students consistently exhibited improvements in cognitive and problem-solving abilities, improvements in fine motor skills and enhanced behavioral outcomes. As a result, children in the BRAC pre-primary schools are better prepared for primary school, and have shown to outperform their peers. The project has already been able to achieve a 94% transition rate from its pre-primary schools to local primary schools. 

“BRAC students have fine motor skills, besides a know-how of reading/writing as compared to other students. In addition these students follow instructions properly” said Mrs. Abdul Waheed, a teacher at the Crescent Model School in Haripur who is a supporter of the project.

Thank you for your continuous support, which has put us on track to achieve our goal of benefiting 6000 children through this project.  

Momina  BRAC
Momina BRAC

BRAC's pre-primary education program in Pakistan reaches children left behind by the formal education sytem. Often these are girls who are needed at home, or more often, children whose parents can't afford to pay school fees. Muhammed Rafaqat is one of those parents. He is a shopkeeper and a father of two. He said his son grew up healthy, but his daughter, Momina, was born with special needs. Together with his wife Zarqa, Mahammad consulted doctors in their area and were able to get her the best treatment they could afford.

Muhammad and Zarqa wanted their daughter to have an education, but it was extremely difficult. There were no schools in their area that could offer the special attention Momina needed and it was impossible to send her to a school in another region.

"When BRAC started its pre-primary school in our area," Muhammad said, "we met the teachers who informed us they could take Momina in. Our hearts were filled with joy at the prospect of getting our daughter into school."

Now, Muhammad says he and his wife regularly meet with Momina's teachers and get updates on her progress at school. She was initially shy and timid, but now her teachers say she takes part in classroom activites and extra curriculars.

"She has made lots of friends and she talks about them when she gets home," Muhammad said. "My daughter seems more confident now."

Zarqa became a member of the school management commitee (similar to a parent-teacher group that meets regularly), and both parents continue to support their daughter.

Thanks to GlobalGiving donors and help from partners, BRAC opened and currently runs 100 pre-primary schools in Khybur-Pakhtunkhwa province and graduated nearly 3,000 girls in March 2014. Please continue to support our efforts by empowering girls and families most in need of second chance at an education.

Early childhood education is an important step in ensuring academic success later in life. It improves primary school performance, raises math and language abilities, sharpens thinking and attention skills and it lowers school drop out rates. At the pre-primary level, BRAC targets underprivileged children to prepare them for mainstream primary school entry. Students who graduate from the BRAC model of pre-primary education, do better on secondary school entrance examinations that their mainstream school system counterparts.

BRAC Pakistan initiated its eduation program in 2009 on a pilot basis, using BRAC's success in Bangladesh in this field by establishing pre-primary and primary schools in order to promote greater access to eduation in the country and reduce the drop-out rate from government schools. Through support from our partners, BRAC Pakistan opened 20 pre-primary schools in the Haripur district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (KPK). A total of 50 pre-primary schools in Haripur have been completed and 1,454 students have graduated.

BRAC USA still needs your support to provide school supplies to children and training to teachers! Please make a contribution and tell your friends and family about this important project!

Thanks to initial funding from our partners, BRAC staff in Pakistan has begun recruiting and training local women as teachers to staff the early childhood education centers. BRAC aims to have one local woman placed in every school in the effort to create a girl-friendly learning space, as another of BRAC's overall objectives for this project is to change negative cultural beliefs about educating girls.

As of December 2013, 585 teachers have been trained according to the BRAC methodology. Each school will have one local woman teacher with at least a SSC graduate qualification. The teachers are developed as para-professionals who receive training in child care and development, child psychology and pedagogy materials. Each teacher receives 12 days comprehensive basic training, a three-day new school orientation, as well weekly on-site classroom supervision. BRAC also offers monthly refresher courses.

BRAC Pakistan has also begun establishing the early childhood education centers in communities across seven districts in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. With your help, BRAC can continue this important work in one of the most impoverished provinces in the country.

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Organization

BRAC USA

New York, NY, United States
http://www.bracusa.org

Project Leader

Scott MacMillan

New York, NY United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Starting early with girls' education in Pakistan