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
An excited team at the STEM Academic Olympiad
An excited team at the STEM Academic Olympiad

Dear Supporters and Friends,

We wish a very joyous Eid to all those celebrating around the world! This Eid, on behalf of Teach For Pakistan, we are grateful for the unwavering support you have extended us since COVID-19 hit the world and disrupted learning for our over 5,000 brilliant students. Through your partnership, our Teacher-Fellows have worked tirelessly over the past two years to ensure that over 5,000 students don’t stop learning. Together, they have shown it is possible for all of Pakistan’s children to learn and thrive, despite all barriers.

Since school routines have resumed after the last wave of COVID-19, our students and Fellows have redoubled their efforts to bridge the learning gap and build life-long learning habits and ambitions. Across schools, we are seeing accelerated literacy programs customized to student needs, libraries being established and career readiness programs being launched by Fellows. All of this is made possible through the support and collaboration of the parents, other community members, and school staff.

This report provides a brief overview of our key activities since the start of this year and gives you a peek inside two of our Fellows’ classrooms.

 

Growing our movement of leaders

Second-year Fellows who started their Fellowship in 2020 will be completing their tenure in June to join the 146-strong network of Teach For Pakistan Alumni. Fellowship Alumni enter a diverse range of fields, including but not limited to, public policy, multinational corporations, policy think tanks, consultancies, and graduate school programs. This ensures that our collective impact is made through multiple critical pressure points in the system, each of which is important in the broader movement to end educational inequity.

As the 2020 cohort of leaders completes the Fellowship, another one prepares to begin its journey. This April, we have concluded the recruitment campaign to induct 110 new Fellows who will begin teaching in Islamabad’s public schools in the upcoming academic year starting August. Over the last six months, our team has met incredibly inspired young people across 24 Pakistani universities who are determined to take ownership of the systemic issues in education, beginning with one classroom and school.

 

Girls can STEM!

Students, particularly, girls, enrolled in under-resourced public schools have limited opportunities to participate in project-based learning or experimentation that can spark passion for STEM subjects and careers. In addition, they often internalize societal stereotypes about what subjects and professions are considered a “natural fit” for women to pursue, thereby curtailing their curiosity for Science. To foster a spirit of academic and intellectual excellence in young students, Teach For Pakistan conducted a STEM Academic Olympiad, the culmination of months of work and preparation at the school level. On the final competition day in April, 160 participating students from 29 schools competed against their peers in a full-day of back-to-back rounds with multiple-choice questions and some nail-biting buzzer rounds. They were cheered on by over 600 parents, teachers, principals and school friends.

 

The inspired Little Women of Jaba Taili

Fellow Haleema, teaching in a girls’ public school in the Jaba Taili community in Islamabad, shares individual chapters of the novel "Little Women" with her students during their weekly reading days in an effort to introduce works of fiction to her students and build on their literacy skills. The students are now using these chapters to compile their own novels! This exercise has generated curiosity and interest in the students without overwhelming them and now they look forward to completing the novel each day whilst simultaneously improving their literacy skills. They have created their own versions of the novel as pictured below.

 

Poet Laiba Zahid on ‘Friends’

Fellow Mahnur has been working hard with her brilliant Grade 6 class to make her students more comfortable in reading, writing, and speaking in English. Mahnur decided to work on her students’ language acquisition by exposing them to different stories and poems and by encouraging them to listen to various audio aides. As a result of their determination, one of Mahnur’s students, Laiba Zahid, from a government girls’ school in Dhoke Gangal got her poem published in Dawn Young World magazine. In it, she speaks about how she values her friends and the role they play in her life.

A newspaper-published poem by our student, Laiba
A newspaper-published poem by our student, Laiba
Our students celebrating Earth Day 2022
Our students celebrating Earth Day 2022
A student's message of hope in her classroom
A student's message of hope in her classroom
Fellow Syeda conducting a lesson on flowers
Fellow Syeda conducting a lesson on flowers
The inspired Little Women of Jaba Taili
The inspired Little Women of Jaba Taili
Fellow Taha and his fifth graders
Fellow Taha and his fifth graders

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Fellow Iman's students leading a protest in school
Fellow Iman's students leading a protest in school

Dear Supporters,

We wish you a very safe, healthy, and happy New Year! We want to thank all our supporters and advocates for your continued support throughout a difficult year across the globe. Through your generosity, our Teacher-Fellows have worked tirelessly and innovatively to create and sustain safe and engaging learning environments for their ~5,552 students across 40 schools in Islamabad’s rural sectors. They have partnered with students, parents, and community members to solve for contextual challenges borne out of systemic injustice and exacerbated by the pandemic.

We have grown our movement to provide critical support to the Islamabad public school system, and are now also delivering the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training’s project on Improving Recruitment and On-boarding of Teachers in the Federal system, leveraging our approach. This ground-breaking, three-year partnership not only enables Teach For Pakistan to grow but also to seed our learnings and insights in the wider system so that one day, all of our children have the education they deserve.

The following report provides an overview of our main activities, as well as two spotlights from our Fellows’ work with students.

 

Training and placement of the 2021 cohort

This August, we proudly welcomed our 2021 cohort of Teacher-Fellows to the Teach For Pakistan movement. These inspired young Fellows will be teaching full-time for two years in underserved communities across Islamabad. We have trained and placed 45 Fellows from the 2021 cohort in 22 schools in the Federal Directorate of Education school system. Intended as a boot camp to prepare Fellows for day 1 of teaching, the Training Institute focused on developing participants’ critical mindsets, knowledge, and skills in four leadership domains: self-leadership, leadership in the classroom, leadership to mobilize people (community and collective action), and leadership in the larger system. After three weeks of intense pedagogical training, our Fellows stepped into their classrooms for a two-week practicum followed by another week of training before formally entering their schools on day 1 of teaching in September.

 

Growing our movement: launch of the 2022 Recruitment campaign

 

Teach For Pakistan launched the 10th campaign for its Fellowship 2022 cohort in October to recruit 110 exceptional and visionary leaders to the Teach For Pakistan movement. This year’s campaign is centered around instilling hope and a sense of possibility to solve for systemic problems within education in Pakistan. While there are many negative and hopeless narratives that our young people are surrounded by, this campaign is a call to action to “FlipTheScript” and challenge the systemic realities that drive those narratives.

 

 

 

 

Fellow Sameen’s kids writing their own stories!

Fellow Sameen Kamran teaches English to 5th and 6th graders at a public school in Bhara Kahu, Islamabad. When she first stepped into her classroom in October 2020, she found astonishingly low English literacy levels among her students. Their resources to English language were limited to their assigned textbooks. Sameen decided to introduce her students to the world of stories and began by reading short stories to her students during and after her English lessons. Children who were previously intimidated by the foreign language began to excitedly and impatiently look forward to the storytelling lessons. Seeing their interest pique, Sameen conducted various sessions to help her students learn to dissect short stories and their structure so they can understand the art of writing stories themselves.

Fast forward to November 2021, Sameen’s kids are not only enjoying reading books but are writing their own stories! As a group, they brainstorm, do story-mapping exercises, and develop multiple drafts of their stories before submitting them to their teacher. Her students have recently written a book, The Little Astronaut, and with the help of their teacher, are currently in the process of getting it published and printed. Sameen says that this particular story was chosen to be published because its “protagonist embodies determination and resilience in the face of odds stacked against her” which she believes is a message that symbolizes how she and her students operate in their classrooms.

 

Fellow Iman’s little activists

Fellow Iman from the 2020 cohort teaches Social studies and General Knowledge to 4th and 5th graders in a school in Islamabad’s Tarnol sub-sector. Iman’s school had a culture of tolerance for physical and verbal abuse, amongst students and from teachers to students in the form of corporal punishment. Iman knew that her students needed to have a healthier outlet for their expressions and that the classroom space needed to feel like a safe environment for it to be conducive to learning. Iman arranged a conversation with her students about the circle of violence and how incidence of a violent childhood can lead to violence in adulthood. Once her students had understood the implications of violence, verbal and physical, she led a conversation with them where each student apologized to their peers that they had verbally or physically hurt.

Once student-to-student aggression was addressed, the students were more wary of corporal punishment by other teachers in the school. Iman explained the idea of a power structure in this relationship and how that needs to be broken by using the power of one’s voice. A few weeks later, Iman’s students learned of a peer being hit by another teacher in the school. Much to Iman’s surprise, her students led a protest against violence and marched across their school to demand their right to a violence-free school. Upon seeing this, the school Principal took notice of the incident and called an official meeting of all teachers to inquire who was engaging in corporal punishment, why, and to work together to stop this from happening again.

Fellow Sameen's students' story book
Fellow Sameen's students' story book
Induction training of the 2021 cohort
Induction training of the 2021 cohort
2022 Recruitment Campaign poster
2022 Recruitment Campaign poster

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Alumni Induction Ceremony 2021
Alumni Induction Ceremony 2021

Dear Supportors & Champions!

We celebrated the completion of its 2019-2021 Fellowship cohort’s two-year teaching placement, and graduation into the organization’s Alumni movement of lifelong education leaders and champions. The Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training, Mr. Shafqat Mahmood, graced the occasion as Chief Guest, and Ms. Wendy Kopp, CEO and co-founder of Teach For All delivered the Keynote address at the virtual “Alumni Induction Ceremony.”

These 28 inspired graduates from prestigious universities who, in 2019, began teaching across 15 public schools in underserved sectors of Tarnol, Nilore, Bhara Kahu and Sihala, completed the Fellowship today. They join the 117 older Alumni who are working from all fields towards education reform and development in Pakistan.

Speaking about the Teach For Pakistan Fellowship, Mr. Shafqat Mahmood remarked“It has, of course, a great impact on children because [Fellows] are here because they are committed to educating the young people…but also has an amazing demonstration effect on other teachers around them. We hope to further cement our partnership with Teach For Pakistan and we are about to launch a new project with the organization.”

In her keynote address, Ms. Wendy Kopp congratulated the graduating cohort on their tremendous achievements, and reminded them of their role in shaping a better tomorrow through collective leadership. She said, “When we can galvanize “collective leadership,” i.e., when there are change agents working collectively and collaboratively at every level of the education system, in policy and the whole ecosystem around children, and when those people work to inspire and support the leadership of others in the system – including students, parents, teachers and other allies – that’s when we see systemic change happen.”

Our 5th grade student, Umaima from the federal government school in Tarlai was the student speaker for the ceremony. She thanked her teachers for helping her find her voice and strengthening her self-belief. “I think if every child in Pakistan had teachers like mine, who encourage their students to change and grow, then each classroom in the country would be a much happier place of learning. I hope one day, every child in Pakistan experiences that,” she said.

Our Fellows are creating opportunities in their classrooms for many other young students like Umaima. Recently, we partnered with Science Fuse, to introduce a STEM-focused digital literacy program called ‘Scientists of Tomorrow’, developed with the support of Malala Fund. This project focused on providing subject-specific pedagogical training to teachers so they could in turn nurture their students’ natural sense of curiosity for science. A two-month training and development program was conducted by Science Fuse in which 13 of our Teacher Fellows participated; Nawal was one of them. 

The ‘Scientists of Tomorrow’

Bhara Kahu is one of several rural sub-sectors of Islamabad where one of our Teacher-Fellows from the 2019 cohort taught English and Social Studies in a local public school. Most of her students resided in the area and their parents were employed as house-help or as waiters in small hotels in Bhara Kahu. Due to frequent school closures mandated by the government, Nawal saw her students’ learning disrupted time and again. In the second year of Nawal’s Fellowship, she participated in the project with Science Fuse having noticed that her students were taught science subjects in a way that failed to engage their curiosity.

In addition to teaching English and Social Studies, she held special Science classes for 8 weeks which were informed by Science Fuse’s curriculum. Each week, Nawal would attend a training by Science Fuse and conduct a Science class which encouraged students to partake in experiments using everyday household items. During the program, students were introduced to four iconic female scientists, their contextual challenges, and their achievements. A few weeks later, during one of her English classes, Nawal prompted the class to write a letter to a celebrity. One of her students wrote a heart-warming letter to Ms. Valentina Tereshkova (first woman to have flown into space) – and one of the female scientists introduced during the Scientists of Tomorrow program - and invited her to come visit their classroom. This was the impact of the project, where young girls were idolizing women who had excelled in the field of science and technology. Additionally, through Nawal’s participation in the ‘Scientists of Tomorrow’ program, she was able to communicate with other public-school teachers across Pakistan and exchange innovative ways of teaching science.

We are grateful for your support throughout the year and hope you will continue to cheer us on as we move towards even bigger things as an organization!

Thank you! 

Team Teach For Pakistan

Shafqat Mahmood speaking at the Ceremony
Shafqat Mahmood speaking at the Ceremony
Wendy Kopp, Keynote Speaker
Wendy Kopp, Keynote Speaker
Students participating in science activities
Students participating in science activities
A glimpse from our classroom
A glimpse from our classroom
'Scientists of Tomorrow'
'Scientists of Tomorrow'
Student's letter to Valentina
Student's letter to Valentina
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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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Organization Information

Teach for Pakistan

Location: Islamabad, ICT - Pakistan
Website:
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Twitter: @teachforpak
Project Leader:
Sahar Gul
Islamabad, ICT Pakistan
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