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Transforming Lives

Shafqat Shah, primary school teacher

Beating children is a common method for enforcing rules and punishment for poor learning in Pakistan’s government-run schools. Shafqat Shah, a primary school teacher at a small school near Islamabad, was shocked to learn through a USAID-sponsored program that if a child didn’t understand something, it wasn’t the child’s fault, but the fault of the teaching methodology being used.

Members of the Community Elder Board, which promotes education for all children at Maira Camp.

People from the Allai Valley in northern Pakistan live in isolated family compounds perched along ridges of the Karakoram Mountains. With no schools nearby, most children had no access to formal education.

Teerath Mal, an MBA graduate, is one of 33 students who received a USAID scholarship in Pakistan.

Teerath Mal spent the first five years of his education in anything but a traditional classroom. He went to school in Thana Bola Khan village in Sindh province, southeastern Pakistan, where classes were held outside under a tree.

A Pakistani grandmother working in her garden

Bakhtawar, a grandmother who lives with her extended family in Murtad Kilan village in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, recently planted her very first vegetable garden next to her home. She planted tomatoes, eggplants, gourds, and okra — summer vegetables used in daily cooking but usually available only at markets.

A lab technician examines samples for suspected TB in Karachi

Sughra Hanif, a woman from a neighborhood called Lyari in Karachi, Pakistan, used to bring along one of her 10 children whenever she went out so they could read her bus schedules and numbers. “Otherwise I couldn’t leave the house,” she said. Hanif, who had never gone to school, moved to Karachi from a village in 1988.

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Last updated: August 07, 2014

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