Jan 4, 2021

From Real challenge, Real Leaders Emerge

New Year, New Resolve
New Year, New Resolve

Happy new year! 

We are moving past 2020 by nurturing the hope and sense of possibility that we have been operating with throughout the year. There were times when we didn't know what was awaiting our Fellows and our students. Often, we had to step back, pause and reflect on what is required of us. The leadership with which our Fellows and students have navigated this year and the people they have been during this time leaves us with a burning sense of possibility, the importance of purpose and hope for the year ahead. As a Teach For Pakistan community of students, Fellows, staff, partners and friends, when we look back at this year, we are filled with gratitude and pride, because each of us rose to ensure that we not only survive, but thrive.

 A completely re-designed Training Institute:

This year we have completely transformed the traditional 6-week pre-placement training Institute in Oct, 2020 into a blended learning experience for our 2020 Fellows. This has challenged the Leadership & Training team to use everything we have learned about adult learning and virtual learning to design a six-week experience that would truly prepare the new Fellowship cohort to exert leadership for impact in a world changed by COVID-19.

Royal Couple ‘visited’ our classroom, again.

One year on from the Royal visit in Pakistan, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge reunited with our students Manahil, Aiman and Umaima in Islamabad to hear how the school’s activities have been impacted them. They also played in a game of Pictionary with our students who made us proud with their drawing skills.

Second round of school closures

With increasing number of cases in Pakistan, the federal government decided that schools will remain physically closed for students from 26th November to 25th December, 2020 with a focus on home-based learning during this period. Our

Our Fellows went above and beyond to keep their students engaged in learning. They created WhatsApp Schools, designed and delivered printed learning packs, raised funds to acquire smartphones for their students, arranged classes in the fields and parks; all to keep our students from falling behind.

These are the kinds of challenges our Fellows have been navigating. When we set the theme for our recruitment campaign last year, we didn't know the universe would really challenge us to live it. "With real challenges, real leaders emerge" was intended as an ode to the rigour of the Teach For Pakistan Fellowship but instead it became our rallying cry, our anchor and call to action in this whirlwind year. We kept moving forward, and today when we are stepping into a new year, our movement is 75 Fellows and 117 Alumni strong reaching over 3800 students in 32 public schools. 

This has been a difficult year for humanity; some of us are still processing the loss of a family member, others are praying for the recovery of their loved ones, some are facing severe threats to livelihood and dealing with the mental distress, while others are deferring important personal and professional goals. As we turn the calendar page, let’s extend kindness and grace to ourselves and others to push through in 2021. 

Praying for your continued safety and wellbeing, and wishing you a wonderful new year!

Team Teach For Pakistan

Iman's Learning Pack
Iman's Learning Pack
Classes in the field
Classes in the field
A game of Pictionary
A game of Pictionary
Sep 9, 2020

The movement keeps growing!

#117AlumniStrong
#117AlumniStrong

Since our last communication, we are proud to share that our first cohort from Islamabad has completed their two-year Fellowship, and have joined our Alumni movement that is now 117 Leaders Strong! The transition of these 15 incredible individuals into Alumnihood has come at the right time when we navigating a tumultuous period in history. The need for more effective leadership at every level in our education systems has never been more stark and our Alumni are prepared to step into this vacuum; equipped with the mindsets, understandings, values and relationships they will need to understand and solve complex problems.

Our community came together in an unforgettable virtual week-long Alumni Induction to pay our Fellows, their students and their coaches a fitting tribute, culminating in a moving ceremony featuring our Board, government partners, and representatives from our Alumni, student and parent communities. (Link to highlights from the ceremony are given below).

Preparing for school reopening

With planning for school reopening underway, the potential medium and long-term implications of the crisis on student learning is concerning for us. Preempting the additional challenges that students would face in the schools after reopening, we had to strategically think about how the year 2020-21 would look like for students, teachers and the school system and what we must do to effectively prepare for it. Grounding our understanding in research and evidence from across the globe, we designed and conducted a comprehensive ‘School Reopening’ Training for our Fellows in July, 2020. This 10-day training for our 2019 Fellows focused on responding to three critical students’ needs for 2020-21:

  1. Ensuring schools are safe for students’ return
  2. Ensuring students are supported socially and emotionally upon return and throughout the year;
  3. Ensuring students’ learning losses are recovered. 

The post-training feedback poll revealed that 98% of participants found the training relevant to their work. Fellows are now working on their academic plans, assessments and classroom management plans for the year ahead, as well as coordinating with their school principals to develop customized school re-opening plans.

The year ahead

We are preparing to bring in 50 new Fellows to stabilize the Federal Education System in a difficult post-Covid year. Our Leadership & Training team has been working for three months to redesign the Training Institute for the 2020 cohort being on-boarded in these extraordinary times. Planned to run mid-September to end of October 2020, the training is part virtual and part in-person and will nurture the leadership competencies of Fellows that are most critical for their success as Fellows and Alumni. 

We appreciate your support in getting us here and hope you would continue to strengthen our resolve in ensuring quality education for all children in Pakistan.  

May we emerge from this crisis to build back better!

Team Teach For Pakistan

Alumni Induction Ceremony
Alumni Induction Ceremony
School Reopening Training for 2019 Fellows
School Reopening Training for 2019 Fellows

Links:

May 12, 2020

Continued Learning for children amidst COVID-19

Since schools closed on March 13, Teach For Pakistan Fellows have been focusing on mitigating the impact of Covid-19 on the 2,500 kids they serve across the most marginalized communities in Islamabad and Peshawar. Already facing large academic gaps, these students are at great risk of losing critical learning gains, developing mental health problems and dropping out of school entirely if their connection to learning and support is severed during this crisis.

Despite being thousands of kilometres away practicing social distancing in their hometowns, Fellows are have set up new learning routines and systems with their students via WhatsApp, SMS and physical learning packs that they disseminated with the help of school-community partners. The content is designed around prioritized learning outcomes in English literacy, Math, Science and Social Studies so that students can keep up their practice in critical areas. Students are developing their skills and knowledge through assigned tasks, special exercises, games and activities that they complete and submit back to teachers for feedback. These learning routines have given students structure, connected them to their friends, helped them process anxiety, instill self-care and community-care habits, and – most importantly, has kept them hopeful about their future life-goals.

In order to continue supporting their student’s holistic well-being, Fellows have also been responding to the food insecurity in their student’s communities in Islamabad and their own hometowns across Pakistan, by raising and distributed Rs. 4,282,500 worth of basic supplies to 1,453 families. This crisis is a unique challenge that threatens our student’s learning. Your continued support has had a multiplier effect: every Fellow you support mobilizes their own network of resources to ensure that our students don’t stop learning!

Links:

 
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