Breaking the stereotypes:
Humqadam is changing the Mindset
of Rural Communities
in South Punjab by
Providing Comfortable Classrooms for Girls

22nd Nov 2018

Written by: Amina Nasim Khan - Humqadam/Islamabad
Source & Photos credits: Nadia Nargis - Humqadam/Muzaffargarh

Humqadam School Construction and Rehabilitation Programme (SCRP) is substantially contributing to improving the learning environment of young boys and girls across Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province by providing adequate infrastructure, provision of missing facilities, and transforming them into comfortable zone where their learning abilities are improving.

Government Girls Elementary School (GGES) Ghazi Ghat is situated at distance of 45 km from the main city in Muzaffargarh District of Punjab Province. Every day the school, with just a boundary wall, hosts 354 girls in its courtyard as the five small classrooms were not enough to accommodate them. The school management arranged veranda and open air seating for students to commence classes. In summers the harsh heat from sun and in winters the freezing dry cold hindered their learning process.

Extreme weather and along with difficult floor seating arrangements were leading contributors of health issues among the students which gradually resulted not only in chronic absenteeism but also increased the overall dropout ratio.

Clean and comfortable classrooms have a positive impact on the learning ability of students irrespective of gender, age, and demographics. Humqadam-SCRP adopted GGES Ghazi Ghat in April 2017 and significantly transformed the school in just one year by constructing four new well-lit classrooms with windows for air circulation. The girls for the very first time enjoyed sitting in a proper classroom. The school new academic block has also been made accessible for wheel chair bound differently abled persons who have mobility impairment.

The news spread like wildfire, the new classrooms in school gained attention of more and more parents of adjoining areas. After Humqadam-SCRP support, the school now accommodates 616 girls.

‘It feels great to have real classrooms with doors and windows. A year back I never even imagined this in my school, now it is there for real. I feel relaxed in real classroom. When I’m relaxed, I’m more ready to learn.’ says a student of grade three (name and photograph remains undisclosed for privacy purposes).

UK Aid through Humqadam-SCRP is working closely with the Government of Punjab to provide additional classrooms and toilet facilities in government schools of Punjab province. As part of improving school infrastructure, Humqadam-SCRP has completed 67 classrooms and 18 toilet facilities in 15 schools in Muzaffargarh District, as of November 2018. In addition, Humqadam-SCRP is currently active in 657 schools in Punjab province including 126 in Muzaffargarh District to positively impact educational attainments.