Keep Pakistan Learning

by Teach for Pakistan
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Keep Pakistan Learning
Keep Pakistan Learning
Keep Pakistan Learning
Keep Pakistan Learning
Keep Pakistan Learning
Keep Pakistan Learning
Keep Pakistan Learning
Keep Pakistan Learning
Keep Pakistan Learning
Keep Pakistan Learning
Keep Pakistan Learning
Keep Pakistan Learning
Keep Pakistan Learning
Keep Pakistan Learning
Keep Pakistan Learning
Keep Pakistan Learning
Keep Pakistan Learning
Keep Pakistan Learning
Keep Pakistan Learning
Keep Pakistan Learning
Keep Pakistan Learning
Students working in groups in learning center
Students working in groups in learning center

A blessed Ramazan to all our donors who are observing the holy month! We want to thank you all for your continued support and enabling our team and Fellows to adapt and innovate in exceptionally challenging circumstances, to work with school and community actors to keep our 3,700+ students safe, learning and hopeful about their future prospects. As an organization, we have learned more about mobilizing and developing collective leadership for educational equity this year than any other before it, and are now working to build those learnings into our regular programming.

Our recruitment campaign is live

We launched our 2021 Recruitment Campaign in January to bring in exceptional leaders to join our movement for educational equity. This year’s campaign highlights the gaps that exists between what our children deserve and what they get. We are looking for leaders to join us towards bridging those gaps. This campaign has been uniquely challenging for universities calendars constantly kept changing with frequent and unpredictable closures of universities campuses limiting our in-person interactions with graduating students. This meant that our recruitment activities and planning had to be a nimble process so we could quickly and repeatedly adjust our approach in response to the changing environment. In these circumstances, our 28 ‘Campus Ambassadors’ were crucial to this year’s campaign who were trained and placed across Pakistan to identify and cultivate High Potential Candidates (HPCs). Although we were able to participate in a few recruitment drives and career fairs when campuses were briefly opened, our most significant info sessions and HPC conversations were held on virtual platforms. Despite all difficulties, we were able to attend 5 Career Fairs on various campuses, conducted 6 info sessions, cultivated 23 HPCs and were able to generate 650 applications in the first cycle of the campaign which ended on Feb 14th with the second cycle still ongoing. We urge you to share the Fellowship opportunity with young leaders in your circles and encourage them to apply before the deadline on May 16th, 2021. This could be a life changing experience for them!

Impact from Distance Learning Initiatives

After school reopened briefly in September 2020, we were able to collect data on the impact of our Distance Learning initiatives during the first round of school closures (March to September 2020). Based on assessments for to test learning outcomes of each grade, we found that students who engaged in our distance learning initiatives had fewer learning losses compared to students who could not be reached for various reasons such as inadequate access to technology, moving back to their hometowns, unresponsive to phone calls etc. We found that an average Teach For Pakistan student in Grade 4 who engaged with the distance learning was able to score 8.6 percentage points more in the test compared to the student who could not participate in the distance learning. Similarly, an average Teach For Pakistan student in Grade 5 was able to score 6.3 percentage points more in the test. These results were really encouraging for the team because it gave us confidence that our strategies were effective and we were able to achieve great results with our students. For context, 9 percentage point growth is worth around 2 months’ growth acquired in a regular Teach For Pakistan 4th grade classroom.

Dania & Ayesha’s Community Learning Center

Fellow Ayesha and Dania have been teaching in Tarnol community for almost two years. They had big goals and aspirations for their students in the second year of the Fellowship which were disrupted due to multiple rounds of school closures. Initially, they designed various distance learning strategies to reach their students including designing, printing and distribution of Learning Packs, creating a vibrant classroom culture on WhatsApp, and engaging parents in ensuring students are actively involved in the activities. However, they realized the limitations of virtual learning and the challenges of access for some of their students. Understanding that in-person interactions with their students is most effective for their students’ growth, Ayesha and Dania consulted parents to discuss the issues they were facing in reaching all their students. One of the mothers who had seen their efforts with the students, offered to work with the Fellows to create alternative leaning spaces within the community. She suggested using an empty upstairs space in her house to invite students for regular classrooms. After visiting and evaluating the space, they decided to organize the space such that it would remain a safe and conducive learning environment for students. Fellows sanitized the space, ensured proper air circulation, developed safety protocols for students, set-up a media room, transferred their classroom library books, and updated the classroom management plan to transform an abandoned first floor of a building into a vibrant learning center. Students who have no access to technology come to take their classes in the learning center, work in groups, revise their lessons and help each other with assignments. Fellows have recently started to experiment with conducting online Zoom classes for students with access a laptop or a phone. Inspired by their vision and dedication for their students, volunteers from the community have also joined Ayesha and Dania to help them with remedial classes helping students revise the sessions and practice exercises assigned by their teachers. It would perhaps not be wrong to argue that this might the be the most robust and relevant support that students studying in public schools might be receiving at the moment, which has all been possible by engaging and investing the community members.

We feel extremely proud about what we have collectively achieved in the past academic year, but there is more work to be done. We are planning to scale the program across the country so that all children in Pakistan can have an education that makes them loving, thinking, and engaged citizens.

Team Teach For Pakistan.

Our vibrant community learning spaces
Our vibrant community learning spaces
Our students in Islamabad Science Festival
Our students in Islamabad Science Festival
Our classrooms when schools were briefly reopened
Our classrooms when schools were briefly reopened
Habib University's Career Fair
Habib University's Career Fair
Classes in open fields near school
Classes in open fields near school
Training Fellows for Distance Learning
Training Fellows for Distance Learning
Collaboration with community members
Collaboration with community members

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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
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#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

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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!

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Recruitment poster
Recruitment poster

Meet 2019 Fellow Rida Rizvi, who joined the Fellowship after completing her MBA from NUST. Rida currently teaches Social Studies and English to Class 4 students at Islamabad Model School for Girls, Rajwal. The village is home to a large Christian community, which meant her classroom had a mix of Muslim and Christian students who refused to sit together or work together in groups. To address this culture of intolerance, Rida led a series of interactive activities on concepts of humanity, tolerance and beauty in diversity. She recently discovered that her Muslim students visited their Christians class fellows’ homes over Christmas, bringing them presents and helping them celebrate the holiday! 

Rida’s interventions on religious tolerance and harmony are not isolated from the rest of the teaching. In fact, her classroom as a whole is a creative, safe space that encourages students to develop shared purpose. As you step into her class, it’s clear that every corner of the class is a new area to discover: the Feedback Corner, the Dream Board, the Resource Corner all have a different purpose but each is a reminder of the potential and responsibility of each student to pursue their educational and life goals. The Feedback Corner, for instance, is a space that allows her students to be involved in the lesson planning and much more. They are asked what they enjoyed in a lesson, what topics they hope to learn more about, and how they feel they can improve the classroom culture.

The corner was a big hit and students felt comfortable requesting more interactive learning activities like buzzer games and role playing because they felt that it helped them better retain content. It is rare for these young students to have the opportunity to openly share their ideas with an authority figure, but they now see that as their duty, knowing that there is someone eagerly listening to and incorporating those ideas.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Visit
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Visit
2019 Teaching Fellow Rida Rizvi
2019 Teaching Fellow Rida Rizvi
Rida's classroom
Rida's classroom

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Organization Information

Teach for Pakistan

Location: Islamabad, ICT - Pakistan
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @teachforpak
Project Leader:
Ghazanfar Khan
Islamabad, ICT Pakistan
$7,787 raised of $30,000 goal
 
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