Written by Abeera Ahmed
Photo credits: Gul-e-Rana KP/Humqadam
Poor drainage and unpaved grounds meant that Government Girls Primary School Sargand Killi, District Charsadda, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, often flooded during the rainy season. This made access to the school difficult for young girls, in a district where girls primary school enrolment rates stand at a dismal 29%.
Located in the rural outskirts, and as one of the only few girls’ primary schools in the vicinity, GGPS Sargand Killi offers the opportunity for an education to approximately 200 young girls. However, in recent years, the school had fallen into a state of neglect leading to alarming rates of absenteeism, drop outs and overcrowding.
Humqadam took up the school to construct two additional classrooms and rehabilitate the four existing toilets, which helped to relieve overcrowding from a student: classroom ratio of 1:50, down to the improved 1:40 ratio.
Believing in instilling the ethos of “Build, Maintain, and Sustain,” Humqadam strives to make schools community-driven and community-centred. Across all Humqadam-assisted schools, Community Committees for School Infrastructure (CCSIs) are installed to ensure transparency and ownership of their schools.
Seeing the persistent problem of absenteeism due to flooding and unpaved ground, the CCSI proposed a simple solution by re-purposing the bricks dismantled from the roof treatment during rehabilitation work to construct a pathway leading from the gate to the school building. This highly effective solution not only significantly reduced weather-related absenteeism, but the heightened community involvement also saw an increase in enrolment by 50 students.
Zaman Khan, one of the CCSI Members, believes, “The school is our responsibility. Humqadam assistance will go a long way in promoting girls’ education and we must take this great effort further.”
CCSIs are an important feature in bringing improved education environments across schools. Approximately 535 CCSIs are working across KP to take up collective ownership of their schools.