Written by Abeera Ahmed
Photos credits: Hashim Khan, Humqadam/Peshawar
In order to inculcate a deeper sense of community ownership of the schools, the Community Committee for School Infrastructure (CCSI) plays a pivotal role in the execution of Humqadam-SCRP. Humqadam- SCRP engages former teachers and active citizens to form CCSIs to foster community ownership. So far, Humqadam-SCRP has established over 2000 CCSIs across nine districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 16 districts in the Punjab province in Pakistan. The CCSI is responsible for the monitoring of the construction process in their respective schools.
Adopted by Humqadam-SCRP in 2015, Government Primary School (GPS) Garhi Durrani in Peshawar District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, was provided with two new classrooms, in addition to the five existing ones.
The CCSIs have taken up a critical role in raising public interest to promote enhanced enrollment, attendance and retention at school. In the academic year 2017, CCSI of Peshawar District identified more than 200 of the neediest students and provided them hygiene kits, uniforms and school books.
“Through the platform of Humqadam-established CCSI, we oversee proper implementation of the construction processes. This has encouraged the community to put more effort towards maintenance of the school and the students. A strong sense of ownership is felt among the community, which is a unique aspect of the CCSI that is integral to the school’s success,” said Haji Ghulam Ullah, an active CCSI member.
Seeing the new school building and the raised interest of the community, the students are now infused with a sense of enthusiasm. GPS Garhi Durrani has not just improved in terms of the infrastructure, but also in terms of the educational experience. At a school where the teachers, community, parents and CCSI together are developing a true learning culture, the students are full of enthusiasm about their transformed school.
Muhammad Rizwan, a student of Class Three, who received books and uniform through the CCSI initiative says, “It was heartbreaking that my parents couldn’t afford my dream of going to a beautiful school with books in neat and clean uniform. Thanks to Humqadam I will go to school every day. New classrooms, books and uniform altogether is no more a dream.”
The CCSIs are proving to be a key stakeholder in the education discourse and are highly effective in bridging the gaps and ensuring sustainability.
As of October 2017 Humqadam-SCRP has completed 469 schools with 385 schools still active across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, funded by DFID and Australian Aid. All across these schools, the CCSIs are continuing to play an important role of a reliable partner to ensure transparency and ownership of the schools within their communities.