Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan

by Formation Awareness and Community Empowerment Society (FACES) Pakistan
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Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan
Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan
Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan
Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan
Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan
Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan
Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan
Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan
Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan
Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan
Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan
Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan
Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan
Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan
Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan
Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan
Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan
Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan
Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan
Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan
Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan
Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan
Peace Schools for Children - Pakistan

Peace School for Afghan Refugees and Host Communities

Report – February 2018

Last three months were the most fun months of the students of Peace Schools as right after giving exams the students celebrated Universal Children’s Day and Teacher’s Day, visited Butterfly house and watched an animated movie in a cinema for the first time.

On 20th November 2017, Peace Schools organized a program to create awareness about rights of children and make this day memorable for them. Students of our Peace School for Afghan refugees and host communities celebrated the day by painting their thoughts and ideas about their rights. They gathered in school in coloured dresses and expressed themselves through the medium of arts.

Different events and speeches are organized all over the world as a token of appreciation for their beloved teachers, who prepare their students to be well behaved and productive members of their society and ensure a well-organized atmosphere in schools. A good and concerned teacher is a blessing as he or she plays a vital role in developing life and career of a student. Students of celebrated Teachers Day by appreciating their teachers and sharing their thoughts regarding the hard work their teachers are doing to make their future successful and secure.

Later in December, an educational visit was organized for the students of Peace School for Afghan refugees and host communities to Botanical Garden and Butterfly House, Jallo Park, Lahore. These educational trips that are a part of the school curriculum are valuable as such trips provide the students an opportunity to learn through experiences.  During the trip the students had a lot of fun as they played different games in the park and got a chance to interact with nature which they rarely get in their underprivileged area. The trip also engaged their attentive mind and empowered their sense of discovery.

In February, students of Peace Schools for Afghan Refugees & Host Communities enjoyed Allahyar & The Legend of Markhor at Sozo World Cinema. FACES Pakistan with Sozo World Cinema organized a free screening of the animated movie for the students. This unique opportunity allowed the students to watch a movie in cinema for the first time in their lives. Through this movie they learnt about culture of Northern Areas of Pakistan as well as about different species of animals. Most of the students were liked the character of Allahyar but they particularly liked the jokes made by character ‘Hero’ in the movie. The students later enjoyed lunch they had brought from their homes.

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Peace School for Afghan Refugees and Host Communities

Report – November, 2017

Qasim is one of the brightest students of Peace School. Still in class 2, his teacher acknowledges him to be a hardworking, punctual and responsible student. He scored first position in his previous class in Peace School and he achieved this despite the fact that no one teaches him at home and he manages his homework with self-study. Qasim’s parents and two sisters moved to Akram Park last year from Waziristan where he stayed for some time after migrating from his home country Afghanistan. He passed his initial classes in the remote areas of Waziristan. Now his father has moved to Saudi Arabia where he is a worker in a shop. If Qasim’s father had found a decent job in Pakistan then he would have stayed with his family. There are many such children in Pakistan who have to live without the love and protection of their parents and siblings just because they have to stay in other cities and countries to earn a living.

Keeping such a gloomy socio-economic situation of Afghan refugees and host communities in Pakistan, FACES Pakistan has initiated another project ‘Dard Kush - Strengthening Livelihoods of Afghan Refugees and Pakistani Host Communities’.  The initiative builds on the current situation of Afghan refugees in Pakistan and their host communities and provides vocational skills training and adult literacy to the project beneficiaries, especially vulnerable persons like women and youth, in multiple trades and by creating market linkages for their employment.

Many people have sacrificed their lives for the protection of Pakistan. To honour them students of Peace Schools celebrated Pakistan Defence Day on 6th September 2017. As our Peace Schools have students both from Afghan refugees and host communities, during the event the teachers and mentors talked about the significance of such days nationally as well as in other countries. They also shed light on different aspects of this day that how bravely our forces and our people fought for the defence of our beloved motherland. These talks also included a couple of stories from the famous battles fought. Students took special interest in those stories as these were the life experiences of our national heroes who laid their lives for the protection of their nation and people. In the end patriotic songs were sung by teachers and students together. 


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Summer vacations started in Peace School for afghan refugees and host communities in mid of June and restarted in mid of August. During this time, the students were given their new books and holiday’s homework so that they stay connected with their studies. Similarly, to keep teachers updated about the latest techniques of education and to improve their teaching skills, the teachers of the Peace school were trained in the beginning of the August.

The teachers of Peace Schools are guided and observed on a regular basis to help in improving their teaching skills. Ms. Amna, class teacher of 2, is one of the young staff members who had recently joined our Peace School in Akram Park. To help her and other teacher understand and further polish their teaching methodologies in the local context, FACES Pakistan arranged a teacher training session of one week. Through these sessions, Ms. Amna learnt to develop an effective lesson plan, maintain class discipline, enhanced teacher-student relationship for better character building and academic achievements of the students. She particularly enjoyed delivering exemplary lesson plans in groups which further improved her understanding about the topics. This is the first school where Ms. Amna has started teaching after completing her bachelors. Despite completing an internship in another institute earlier, she feels that the most challenging quality of the Peace School is that it gives admission and keeps those students who even lag behind in class. As this is the only school that provides educational opportunity to the children of afghan refugees and host communities in that area, keeping such students means that loving and caring approach of teachers towards their students can make them gradually excel in studies. Ms. Amna shared that this training made her feel better about herself and more positive about her work in the school.

The Peace Schools reopened on 15th August, 2017 after summer vacations of two months. Despite having Eid holidays in beginning of September, the attendance of the school is more than third fourth which shows that the students were very excited and eager to come back to school.

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Peace School for Afghan Refugees and Host Communities

Report – June, 2017

Noman, one of our students from communities that have been living together with afghan refugees, is very happy these days. His school, Peace School in Lahore, has announced summer holidays and now he can spend time outdoors as much as he can. One month ago he received a colouring book and a pencil as a gift when he accomplished third position in his annual exams of class 1. Now after promotion to Class 2, Noman’s parents have allowed him to play with his friends as long as he will maintain his grades.

Last three months were very stressful for Noman as well as for rest of the students and staff as they had to prepare for the final examinations. In our Peace Schools, final exams were held in March followed by a very exciting Result Day event. On 31st March, 2017 the school teachers announced the results of annual examinations. The program started with a short prayer and then the Principal shared few updates of the activities of last year. She congratulated all students and wished them well for next year. Medals and gifts were distributed among the position holders.

(https://www.facebook.com/facespak/posts/1349451761780510)

Before summer vacations, Colour day was also celebrated when students were asked to attend school in coloured cloths. Students and staff cut a cake and had lunch together. Such joyous events with children from deprived areas motivate them to attend school regularly. (https://www.facebook.com/facespak/posts/1400592836666402)

The trust that our Peace Schools have built with the parents of our students from afghan refugees and host communities, especially through the School Management Committees in last one year, has also helped us not just maintain but also to improve the number of students in our schools.

Education is the basic right of all children and this opportunity to afghan children will provide them a hope to achieve better lifestyle and settlement in Afghanistan. As afghan refugees have been asked to go back to their home country as soon as possible, there are a number of issues including good educational opportunities that have made it difficult for them to repatriate. The local leaders from afghan communities that are also members of our school committee shared the issues they are facing in repatriation with FACES Pakistan. To support them, we arranged their meeting with Mr. Khalil, Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Affairs in Punjab and Mr. Riaz, Afghan Commissionarate Government of Pakistan who heard their concerns particularly with regards to repatriation and facilitation in this regard.

(https://www.facebook.com/facespak/photos/a.163471427045222.40476.161410793917952/1346079705451049/?type=3&theater)

In future we will be working closely with the afghan refugees to further support them in repatriation to Afghanistan so that our students feel relaxed and driven to come to school.

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Maryam Ahmed is now going to her school very regularly. Her mother, who works in a paper factory, drops her at school before going to work. Occasionally her teachers meet Mrs. Ahmed in the morning as her both parents have very busy routine and cannot meet the teachers during school hours. Sometimes her teacher visits her home on Saturdays to inform her family about her progress in school. Maryam has passed her mid-term exams but she feels that she could have done better if her best friend, Saba, had not left school four months ago to go back to Afghanistan with her family. She always helped her preparing for the exams. She has contact number of Saba’s father, who left earlier to make arrangements for arrival of his family in their home country. Maryam is planning to call her soon after the final exams in April.

The Government of Pakistan has requested all the registered and unregistered afghan refugees to move back to their home country until March 2017, which has resulted in reducing the number of students all our schools in Lahore (2), Gujrat (1) and Sialkot (1). To deal with this situtation, in last few months the teachers and School Management Committee comprising of parents, teachers and local leaders have taken some concrete steps to improve the number of students and management of the school. Our teachers visited homes of their students in pairs and met their families. The visits were supported by School Management Committees. This activity built trust of the families in host communities and they felt encouraged to send their children to our Peace Schools, thus reducing the number of drop out students. This advocacy and social mobilization technique resulted in strengthening the role of Peace schools in local areas and thus attendance of students in the school. Due to such efforts students like Maryam and other children in her community have joined our schools on regular basis and has raised number of our beneficiaries to 1014 children.

School Enrichment Program of our Peace school ensures the social development of the students to improve their academic skills. The school initiated health, reading and art & craft clubs in 2015 which have continued to improve health and hygiene facilities and practices and to enhance the artistic and creative abilities of the students. A surprise hygiene check was also conducted in December 2016 to make sure all students are strictly following a healthy lifestyle. Through extra coaching classes of reading club the students are enjoying group readings of different stories according to age groups.

Our Peace schools celebrated Color day in the month of November. It was very exciting for the students as they dressed up in color clothes for their school. Later all the students and teachers shared lunch with each other. Such small events helped us making school environment more joyful and a learning place for children.

In next few months we have planned more programs to further improve the quality of education and social development of the children of afghan refugees and host communities.

 

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Project Leader:
Elaine Alam
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LAHORE, Punjab Pakistan
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