A Journey to School: One Teacher's Story
Many Pakistani girls drop out of government schools because of poverty or distance. However, Plan’s Non Formal Education (NFE) Centers are currently educating over 11,000 girls across Pakistan.
Aisha works as a teacher at one of the local NFE centers in Pakistan and has seen the impact that an education can have on the girls who live in the community. She believes that every girl should have the right to an education. This is her story...
When Aisha heard that Plan was setting up an NFE program in her community to educate girls who had been forced to drop out of school, she knew that she wanted to help.
“These marginalized groups have no opportunity to get a formal education and I feel very passionate about helping them,” says Aisha. “When I heard the local people wanted a woman teacher for their daughters, I seized the opportunity.”
Aisha takes her role very seriously. “Education is very important for girls because one girl educated will impact the next generation. An educated girl can bring up her children in a well-mannered way,” she says.
The NFE centers are also a safe haven for girls who have been married at a young age. Rather than being subjected to a life behind closed doors, trapped doing endless chores, the NFE centers provide a protective environment where girls can be educated.
While the overall response to Plan’s NFE centers has been positive, girls are still being forced to drop out of the center. Aisha cites, “temporary migration after the floods and early child marriage” as reasons.
Keeping Girls in School
However, the centers have developed an action plan to combat these issues. Teachers have arranged to have monthly meetings with parents in order to share details of their daughter’s progress. When a girl has missed five days of school, the teacher will visit their home to meet with the child’s parents in order to find out why they have been absent. During those meetings, the teacher will encourage the parents to allow their daughter’s education to continue and will propose solutions to enable the student to continue her studies.
Plan's NFE center is already having a major impact on the community. One of the girls who joined the center had recently dropped out of school. However after she had joined the NFE center, she improved her skills and can now speak English.
And she is not alone. There are now more than 11,000 girls receiving an education through an NFE center and since the membership is free, the poverty barrier that may have prevented many of these girls from receiving an education has been removed.