By Jahanara Shiraz - Manager, Academics (Non-formal Education)
Usman at school
Usman is a boy who grew up in the slums of Kot Lakhpat, Lahore. He finished an accelerated course of primary education at Zindagi Trust's Paid to Learn School on Peco Road, part of our network of non-formal primary schools in Lahore. He is now studying at Bab-e-Safa School, a mainstream private secondary school, thanks to our Secondary School Sponsorship Program. He is balancing quite a few challenges - early school timings, a heavy study workload, a job his family depends on, a wide range of extracurricular activities, and finally, building a good rapport with his teachers and classmates.
Usman was not like other Paid to Learn scholarship winners. Doing well in academics did not come naturally to him. He had to work very hard to be consistent in his studies but he managed to get the required grades in his non-formal primary education course to qualify for secondary school sponsorship - a huge achievement for him. This led to him being placed in a mainstream secondary school, where his education was completely financed by the trust.
Switching from non-formal schooling to formal schooling is a challenge for the most gifted academic student. It is a unique learning experience, one which the average student never goes through. For Usman, it was doubly hard because he always had a healthy interest in extra-curriculars as well as his work. He loves playing cricket, excelling at batting and fielding. He is very serious about fitness and trains hard every day with a rigorous exercise routine. Finally, he works as an assistant cook at a street fast food joint every evening to support his family with a $12 monthly income.
Now in the 6th grade, he has quickly adapted himself to school life. His class teacher has extended her academic support to him to be in line with the class work. Usman is enormously grateful to all our donors like yourself who make it possible for us to transform the lives of Pakistan's poorest children through education. Please consider making a donation to help us put more students like Usman in secondary school!
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