Written by: Abeera Ahmed - Humqadam/Islamabad
Photos credits: Fayaz Khan - Humqadam/Charsadda
Source: Fayaz Khan - Humqadam/Charsadda
Humqadam School Construction and Rehabilitation Programme (SCRP) is continuing to raise education standards by providing stimulus for quality education through safe, secure and conducive learning environment in government schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab province of Pakistan. This provision encourages a learning culture within the government schools that affects the educational outcomes of both boys and girls, and may go a long way, particularly, in low-income settings to reduce socio-economic and gender disparities.
Government Girls’ Primary School (GGPS) Kodai Shabqadar is located in Shabqadar village, District Charsadda, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Situated in the conflict zone, the school was caught in crosshairs and the building was severely damaged. As one of the only girls’ exclusive school, parents were still reluctant sending their daughters since the school had no boundary wall, classrooms or working toilets. The hot, sunny summer days were followed by cold winters, which made it difficult for the students to attend classes out in the open with the most basic educational amenities missing. Enrolment at the school was only 23 and attendance was erratic at best.
Transcending geography, security and challenges, Humqadam-SCRP transforms the educational landscape in smaller communities across KP and Punjab. The critical moment of change came about in 2015 when Humqadam-SCRP adopted GGPS Kodai Shabqadar and provisioned construction of two brand new classrooms.
Humqadam-SCRP took the community into confidence and involved them during the construction of GGPS Kodai Shabqadar, which completed in January 2017. The school’s new building and the community-based approach has led to a jump in the student enrolment for the current academic year. Currently, 55 young girls (and increase of 139%) are now attending the school, and for many of them it is their first educational experience.
Humqadam-SCRP is removing in-school environmental barriers to education by designing, constructing, and rehabilitating infrastructure of government schools. Across KP province, 131 Government Primary Schools have been completed of which 60 are girls’ exclusive primary schools. Humqadam-SCRP hopes to accelerate enrolment rates of school-going children, particularly prioritsing girls, the most vulnerable, and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).