Improved and Equitable Learning

through Better School Infrastructure in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

7th May 2018

Written by: Abeera Ahmed - Humqadam/Islamabad
Photos credits & Source: Rabia Sajjad - Humqadam/Mardan

The new building block of GGPS Babeni is a stark contrast from the old classrooms at the school

Humqadam School Construction and Rehabilitation Programme (SCRP) is lending infrastructural support to schools across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab province in a bid to substantially increase the number of school-going children, and overcome environmental barriers to learning which prevent them from attending, staying, and completing their schooling. Humqadam-SCRP hopes to lay the groundwork for efficient and effective learning environment in schools, which will serve as a long-term investment in education across the board, particularly for girls’ education as they still face steep barriers to entering the education system.

Government Girls Primary School (GGPS) Babeni is located in suburbs of District Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Constrained by resources and infrastructure limitations, the school was far from a safe and supportive learning environment for the girls. More often than not, the school administration resorted to shelter-less classes out in the open. The students were often seen sitting on bricks in lieu of chairs, and covering the leaking classroom roof with empty sacks from home.

Fatima, a student from grade 5 at GGPS Babeni, remembers the struggles she and her class fellows used to face all too well. “Our old classrooms were either always too hot or too cold. We used to be so uncomfortable that we hardly had any time to focus on the actual lesson. At one point, I was so vexed that I even considered transferring to another just so I could attend classes without these constant environmental disruptions,” said Fatima.

Classrooms with more than 90% attendance post-Humqadam provisioned classrooms at GGPS Babeni.

Humqadam-SCRP adopted the school in 2016 and provisioned the construction of two new classrooms during the summer vacations. The excitement was quite palpable as the young students from the surrounding communities poured in the school at the start of the new academic year. The new classrooms are a catalyst for quality education, particularly for disadvantaged girls, to prevent dropouts and ensure a transition from primary to high school-level education.

“The new classrooms have revived interest from the locals, the community, and the parents in general. They feel more comfortable and involved sending their daughters to schools, especially since a lot of them have been involved in the construction process as Community Committee for School Infrastructure (CCSI) members, like my own father,” said Fatima.

Humqadam-SCRP has completed 166 Government Primary schools (GPS), of which 64 are GGPS across KP province. These schools are an evidence of Humqadam unwavering commitment to ensuring gender equality in education and keeping girls in school. This is driven by a simple philosophy: providing safe, secure and supportive school environment leads to long-term benefits not only for the girls, but also their families and the larger community.