Let’s find the bright future in Pakistan’s Slums
The 2015 global monitoring report by UNESCO on education didn’t bring some promising indicators and findings from Pakistan.
The report says, “Pakistan has made far less progress than would be expected given their initial starting points on enrollment ratios and current per capita income. “ “…..In Pakistan, despite some reduction in the percentage of out-of-school children, household survey data suggest entrenched inequalities.”
I had not read the above mentioned report if Rohayl Varind hasn’t contacted me on social media.
Rohayl is the founder of Slum schools project, which started from Faisalabad. Yes, he is the same Rohayl, who started “Wall of Humanity”, the crafted wall on which clothes and other basic essentials of life are hung as giveaways for the unfortunate people of Pakistan.
According to Pakistani media, “Wall of Humanity” project inspired India and they also adopted it there. This time, Rohayl has come up with the project for educating the children living in slum areas in Pakistan. According to Rohayl, the slum schools are established outdoor with a whiteboard and a committed volunteer teacher like Rohayl.
Rohayl’s project reminded me Hasan and Shireen, two siblings started the street school in Karachi, where they teach more than 25 children, who sell flowers and other things on the streets.
Since Slum school’s inauguration, which happened in December 2016, it has been teaching more than 35 children with the provision of food bags, books and stationary.
“I also ensure that all the children in the school get polio vaccination,” says Rohayl.
He said that he is not only teaching the basic education but also the basic ethics and etiquette.
Rohayl runs the school five days a week with the help of two part time volunteers; Fiza Imran and Sabat Gillani, both are employees of private education sector. Rohayl has been doing the philanthropy for few years in the shape of providing ration to the needy people and projects like “Wall of Humanity” but what convinced him to start the idea slum school? According to him, the illiteracy is the root cause of the poverty. Therefore, spreading education among all will reduce the paucity in the country. Currently, Rohayl has no strong monetary support other than his close friends who share their part by giving him stationary and other needed stuff.
Rohayl said, “The main motive of this school is to bring basic knowledge and education, otherwise deprived children raised in the same situation would not be having even an inkling of or just meager knowledge or education otherwise”.
In 2015, Rohayl won “World Summit Youth award” in Brazil for his project Voice of R. Rohayl has recently been selected as Juror member and ambassador of the UNESCO’s Youth Summit award.
Some among us will find these projects inspiring, and these are rousing but I also see the failure of the Pakistani system here. According to the constitution of Pakistan, the basic education, which include elementary and secondary education, should be provided with no cost; then I see the collective failure of the system which couldn’t bring the children to the doorstep of education.
There are many factors which include poverty, but I also see corruption. Corruption and inequality have eaten the society like termites. The weak democratic system which was developed with the collision of dictatorship and civil government could not bring the transparency in education system.
According to above mentioned UNESCO report about Pakistan, “Democracy is also weak.” In comparison between Pakistan and Nigeria, report says that, “Neither country has been able to develop a unified voice of civil society, with organizations instead divided along ethnic, kinship or religious lines. The political leadership, civilian or military, has been identified as corrupt, stealing the vast oil wealth in Nigeria or pilfering public funds and post- 9/11 aid funds in Pakistan.”
Rohayl Varind told me that he hasn’t opened any bank account for Slum Schools and he is not accepting any donation for the project.
He said that his simple wish or idea is to expand the project to other parts of the country through other people or organizations. He wants others to adopt the project by going in the slum areas of their cities with a whiteboard and few books and start teaching the underprivileged of those areas.