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.
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.
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.