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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Last updated: August 07, 2014