Pukar Foundation recognizes the role of education can play in helping eradicate poverty and making community prosper. Throughout the nineties, United Nations conferences and summits stressed the part played by lack of education in perpetuation of poverty worldwide, particularly in developing countries. The millennium Development Goals agreed in 2000 by all United Nation members, including Pakistan, adopted the target of primary education for all by 2020.
In Pakistan this will be challenge, given the latest figures available. At the National Education Conference Islamabad the education minister stated that 45 percent of Pakistani children dropout of schools before class five. Girls’ attendance rates are lower than boys. The figure for colleges and universities reflect even lower participation rates similarly gender disparities. Yet it is established fact that women and girls are suffered disproportionately from the effect of poverty. Not only are they over-represented in the number of poor, they also bear a larger share of burden of poverty within the household. Greater education opportunities will empower girls to earn for their families. It will also help gain them respect that will lead to their inclusion in family and community decision-making processes.
Pukar Foundation education program covers only two areas and so far all of the work done in this sector was completed by the funding of some local donors.
- Education Support Program (ESP)
The “Education Support Program” is briefly discussed with the background and case studies.
Education Support Program:
The child education support program (ESP) is Pukar Foundation innovative contribution to realizing the millennium Development Goal of “Primary Education for all by 2015.”
Launched in 2006 as a steer project, ESP provides access to quality schooling for disadvantaged children in Lassan Thukral and Garihabibullah, one of the most isolated U/Cs of District Mansehra and in different parts of sindh. ESP has been designed as a replicable model for schools enrolment that helps address the problem of out-of-schools children and raises awareness.
How Does the Program work?
Household with out-of-school children are identified with the help of community leaders. A survey is then conducted to verify the financial status of each household in terms of number of dependents, sources of income/landholding and parent status (living/able bodied or other). Of the 80 students up to date selected, some are orphans or from single parent families or poorest of the poor.
Having had children enrolled into different institutions, Pukar Foundation paid their tuition fees and provides them with books, stationary and uniform. Pukar Foundation regional offices are in close contact with the schools are receives quarterly progress report on each student.
The program operating costs are borne out by the funding of some individual donation from local scrupulous, loving and philanthropic persons while the administrative costs are being borne out by Pukar Foundation and some young Volunteers. However, considering success so far, Pukar Foundation plans to explore the possibility of setting up of the projects financed by corporations NGOs and individual philanthropists. Pukar Foundation would administer funding and would aim to guarantee transparency and careful monitoring.
How will the Program Grow in Future?
Pukar Foundation aims to expand the program through working with government and community schools. It plans to offer support for teacher training and equipment in return for community help in mobilizing students.
- ESP plans to enhance the family’s role by addressing the problem of economic self-sufficiency. It will explore with families, teachers and community leaders ways to help to improve livelihood opportunities. Through helping families achieves a measure of economic independence, Pukar Foundation will be able to use its resources to educate more children from severely disadvantaged backgrounds.
- Innovative projects like bookmark Projects will be devised to raise funds.
- Partnership with the Individual International donors and NGOs will be strengthened.