Approximately 1.7 million enlisted Afghan nationals are still living in Pakistan. Large numbers of Afghans are living in different provincial zones all over Pakistan, with little groups in urban areas of Lahore, Gujarat, Sialkot, Jhelum, Peshawar, Quetta, and Karachi. Through “School for Children, Vocational Trainings for Afghan Refugees and Host Communities” project; FACES Pakistan is seeking to build the capacities of Afghan refugees while providing them all conceivable administrative help. FACES Pakistan possesses vast experience and expertise in working with Afghan refugees and host communities and therefore is playing an effective role in enhancing their skills through developing trainings, and creating livelihood opportunities for their better life.
The project has focused on a main component of providing primary education to refugee children who otherwise do not have this opportunity and engage in child labour around the slum area they reside in.
Almost 500 children are acquiring education in the Lahore city peace school. Due to high enrollment of students in the school; FACES Pakistan opened a new branch of Peace School at Manzoor Park Lahore with a dense population of Afghan refugees and host communities in the same proximity of FACES Pakistan’s existing area of work. Most of the Afghan families, living in Manzoor Park do not have access to school in their area engaging the children in ‘rag picking’, therefore, FACES Pakistan decided to establish peace school in this area. For this, a new building was acquired and new staff was hired. Community mobilization will be the main aspect for intervention in achieving targeted enrollment.
To improve the socio-economic status of Afghan refugees and host communities, promotinginter-religious and inter cultural harmony amongst different factions of society, along with the provision of education.
Student Class-wise Details
The children at our Afghan Peace Schools have never attended school and they were mostly involved in child labor. Project team shared these lists with SMCs, who then convinced the parents that education is of primary importance alongside earning a livelihood for the family. The parents have made a commitment with the team members that they will send their children to school on regular basis. The monitoring and evaluation department then verified the lists. During the year, 80 children have passed the examination of class five and completed grade 5 successfully.
• Establish linkages and support mechanisms for introducing opportunities for continuing
education and technical training available for working children.
• Seek community participation for promoting quality education by involving communities
in data collection, micro planning and in implementation process.
• Undertake capacity building of teachers and project staff for sustaining project activities.
The peace schools which have been established and are functional in Lahore, Gujarat and Sialkot are amplifying their administration. At the same time, these endeavors uplift the opportunity in increasing the number of students in these schools. Social mobilizers significantly contributed in the previous task and paid ‘door to door’ visits and organized corner meetings to facilitate parents in understanding the importance of education. FACES Pakistan initiated Preschool level class in the previous phase due to large enrollment of children between ages of 3.5 to 5 years. Peace schools have classes from Grade 1 to 5 with Nursery class, and provide quality education to these enrolled students.
Quality education is being provided at these schools. One of the objectives of education program is to make sure that children have left hazardous jobs and have become respectable member of society. The strategy recognizes formal school education as a bridge for children of school-going age. Regular follow ups ensure that children get the required support in continuing their education.
Teachers were trained on innovative teaching methodologies so, they can teach well with dedication and commitment. Collaborative action was also effective in motivating parents and encouraged them to seek alternative educational opportunities for a better future of their children.
Providing Educational Opportunities to Children
The activity proposes a diverse range of educational opportunities to already enrolled children. The quality education in these schools ensured through lessons being well-planned, assessments set criteria for children, syllabus division and activity based teaching by the staff and FACES Pakistan team. The strategy recognizes that formal school education works as a bridge for children of school-going age.
Provision of Books and Stationary
FACES Pakistan provided necessary furniture for students and teachers; study charts, wall clock, black boards, chalks, doormats and sports goods. The materials were very important in enhancing children’s learning capacity, developing interest in studies and to improve classroom environment. Books and stationery were also provided to 150 students in the peace schools as well as uniforms.
Extra-Curricular activities conducted for the meaningful engagement of the students. Theseactivities were arranged by the school administration and conducted on monthly basis. These activities proved beneficial for healthy growth of children’s mind and can allow them to learn new things. Few of core activities are as follows:
I. Exposure Visits:
Different exposure visits were arranged by the school’s administration which included a visit to Children’s Library Complex, where students introduced to the concept of library and read important books. The school administration arranged Visits to historical places, science library, zoo and a trip to museum. Students enjoyed and learned a lot through these exposure visits.
II. Celebration of International Days:
International days are celebrated in the schools, and teacher provides information regardingthe significance of the day. Teachers share information about the importance of the day along with giving historical insights. Certain activities were arranged in retrospective to that particular day, so that children can learn more through activities. Hand wash activity was celebrated and information was given to children regarding the benefits and importance of cleanness. Other days which will be celebrated include World Wildlife Day, World Water Day, World Health Day, Earth Day and World Refugee Day. The purpose of celebrating these days is to enlighten children about the true reason behind these particular activities.
III. Art & Craft Day
Schoolteachers arranged Art & craft day and students learnt about the ways of making new things from wastes. They also made portraits with different items e.g. water colors, crayons, play dough/mud clay etc. They decorated their classrooms with these handmade charts. These activities were attractive and students participated actively. This activity improved their learning and especially proved as a confidence builder.