Written by: Abeera Ahmed - Humqadam/Islamabad
Source & Photos credits: Rabia Sajjad - Humqadam/Mardan
The very premise of Humqadam School Construction and Rehabilitation Programme (SCRP) is to provide crucial infrastructure elements such as, classrooms and toilet facility, which enables learning environment in schools. Provision of high quality, secure and safe infrastructure facilitates educational goals by promoting greater gender equity, improved attendance, teacher motivation and academic results. In fact, a good learning environment might be the very decisive factor that ensures completion of an academic cycle.
Government Girls’ Primary School (GGPS) Sohbat Abad is a prime example of the significant role school infrastructure plays in transforming the educational landscape for the community. Located in the heart of Mardan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, the original two-classroom school did not have the capacity to accommodate the increasing student body. The issue, however, was much bigger than students crammed in an outdated building without WASH or toilet facilities. Lack of high-quality infrastructure adversely affected learning outcomes as 40-60 students dropped out annually. Attending school in hot, sweltering classrooms and resorting to open toilet use made for an unhealthy learning environment.
Humqadam-SCRP adopted GGPS Sohbat Abad in 2015 in a large scale approach to upgrade infrastructure of government schools across KP. The school was provisioned with two new classrooms and much needed three toilets, in addition to the rehabilitation of the existing classrooms. Since its handing over in 2016, the fully functional school has seen considerable improvement in all its learning indicators: student enrolment increased 70%, attendance rate is 100%, and the student: teacher ratio is close to the ideal 40:1. The quick academic dividends are a testament that school infrastructure, along with other educational inputs, can productively transform a school and the learning outcomes.
Humqadam-SCRP is making a phased and coordinated investment in infrastructure of government schools in efforts to deliver quality education, especially in low-income communities. As of June 2018, Humqadam-SCRP will have completed 194 Government Primary Schools with 77 being girls’-only primary schools in KP province. Humqadam-SCRP is enabling girls to attend school and stay in education by strengthening government school’s infrastructure in Punjab and KP provinces in Pakistan.