Ushering in an Attitudinal Change
among Communities through
Improved School Infrastructure for Girls
in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province

30th Aug 2018

Written by: Abeera Ahmed - Humqadam/Islamabad
Source & Photos credits: Shabnum Noureen - Humqadam/Peshawar

(L): Faheema and a group of friends outside their new classroom at GGPS Alo Kaley
(R): Addition of ramp to the new class as a part of the SCRP’s inclusive design philosophy

Humqadam School Construction and Rehabiliation Programme (SCRP) is undertaking the massive responsibility of substantially contributing to a transformative and equitable learning environment for students across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Being cognizant of the fact that quality education comes through quality inputs and processes, Humqadam-SCRP is revamping schools into a safe, secure, and conducive learning environment through adequate infrastructure, provision of missing facilities, and transforming them into community schools in the truest sense.

Faheema is a student of grade 3 at Government Girls’ Primary School (GGPS) Alo Kaley, District Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Despite being located in a sprawling urban area, GGPS Alo Kaley was in a state of disrepair. Not only did the school have non-functional/no student toilets, but the school’s two only classrooms were also derelict with no electricity, fans, floors, and chipping paint. Poor infrastructure and facilities made for a dismal learning environment which was further exacerbated by multi-grade teaching. GGPS Alo Kaley gained notoriety as a ‘bad’ school with an all-time high drop out and poor attendance rates. Faheema started the school year with 30 class fellows, but towards the end of the year only 7-10 students stayed at the school.

Recalling her school experience, Faheema said, “It was very hard to stay motivated at all since we used to have three classes crammed in each room with no electricity or light on top of that. I used to beg my parents to pull me out of this school.”

Adopted in 2015 by Humqadam SCRP, GGPS Alo Kaley has undergone a significant transformation. The existing two classrooms and the non-functional two student toilets were revamped and rehabilitated. To address the dire issue of multi-grade teaching, Humqadam-SCRP also constructed one additional classroom. Complete with new electric works, sanitation, and adequately lighted and ventilated classrooms, the school is now a welcome change within the community.

Post- Humqadam interventions, student enrolment and attendance have both improved. Enrolment has risen by 13% within two months of completion from 61 to 69. “The revamped school has completely changed our perception of what a school should look like. Our lessons are much better and now I am confident that when I graduate from this school, I will go to high school,” said Faheema.

The story of the turnaround school quickly spread within the community and the education authorities. Seeing such an improvement, the government provided three additional teachers, which helped alleviate the student: teacher ratio at the school.

“Before the new construction and rehabilitation works, the school was in ruins. But now, we take more ownership of our school than ever before. I feel like a proud teacher when parents visit the school to potentially enrol their children,” said Mrs. Tahira Jehan, Principal GGPS Alo Kalay.

Since 2015, Humqadam School Construction Programme has constructed over 180 primary schools across KP, of which 96 are geared towards all girls’ schools. The improved school environment and infrastructural investment is improving educational opportunities for more girls across the province. Through its works, the SCRP is not just signaling the importance of education for all- particularly girls’- but also transforming the life trajectories for young girls in many ways.