Lareb, 15 years old, is one of five siblings and belongs to a lower middle economic quintile family in semi-urban Rohri, Sukkur. Her father is a public servant and her mother takes care of domestic chores and does some handicraft work to meet resource needs for the family. Despite limited financial resources, Lareb’s parents always encouraged their children to get as much of an education as they want to.
“I have spent nine years in Government High School, Bedil Bekas and have my early childhood memories associated with this school,” Lareb said. She continued to reflect on the obstacles she has overcome to continue her studies.
“We used to sit on the floor or bricks and sometimes in extreme hot or cold weather conditions. We were compelled to sit under the open sky due to the lack of classrooms, and some of the children also saw snakes in bushes while passing by unattended pieces of land in school. Now after this newly constructed school, efficiently managed by Education Management Organizations (EMOs), we have a high-quality, learning-enabling environment, which includes furniture, well-lit and ventilated classrooms, functional separate toilets for girls and boys, a boundary wall, qualified and cooperative teachers, and a library. The unattended piece of land was converted into a playground where we enjoy playing cricket.”
Through Sindh Community Mobilization Program’s (CMPs) interventions, Sindh Basic Education Program (SBEP) schools have not only dramatically improved the schools’ physical infrastructure, but have also brought on critical thinking teaching staff, a cooperative community and effective school management through EMOs. Charter for Compassion (the EMO of Lareb’s school) has ensured that teachers engage children through interactive pedagogies and creative learning, and that they do not practice corporal punishment.
“In the previous school building we used to face harassment by a canteen owner, but after this school and management we feel safe and secure,” Lareb said, adding, “I desire to become a doctor, and my parents have remained very much supportive in continuing my studies. I spend most of my after-school time in finishing homework, but I also help my mother in domestic chores.
“Initially, my parents were worried about my security, but then I told them that I am empowered and use my freedom with responsibility. My father provides us opportunity for entertainment and learning. Sometimes I used to feel discriminated against by my mother, perhaps because she faced discrimination in her childhood, but now she treats all of us equally.”
CMP is a USAID-funded program that supports the Government of Sindh’s education reform and USAID’s Sindh Basic Education Program. CMP improves school resources and encourages community support for educational reform in Sindh province while identifying and addressing primary barriers to access, particularly for female students.
Sindh Community Mobilization Program (CMP)
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