Pakistan’s ground-breaking organisation The CARE Foundation has announced a major campaign to support its vision to get at least one million Pakistani children into education by 2025.
A leading educational welfare trust, the CARE Foundation announced the ambitious campaign on the United Nation’s International Day of Education [24 Jan, 2023].
CARE provides free quality education to children across Pakistan, who wouldn’t normally attend school or have poor attendance.
Currently, 300,000 children are studying across CARE schools, with 7,000 teachers; to date more than 150,000 children have graduated from CARE schools.
CARE Foundation Chair and Founder, Ms Seema Aziz, said: “We have had huge success to date, but to really make a seismic change we need to reach a critical mass. If we can educate one million out of school children and provide them marketable quality education, their lives will change. This is nation building.”
The City District Government Lahore approached CARE in 1998 to adopt and manage some of its failing schools. CARE initially took on 10 such schools, thus pioneering the concept of Public Private Partnership in education in Pakistan. To date, it has successfully adopted the running of over 855 government schools in the country.
Founded in 1991, CARE takes over and transforms schools with up-to-date facilities, such as provision of furniture, construction of classrooms, toilets, libraries and computer labs, as well as training existing and new teachers to deliver a quality education. Adopting these schools is thought to offer the most cost-effective and scalable model for education provision in Pakistan today.
CARE has a teacher training centre, where teachers are trained regularly to ensure education delivery is of high quality. CARE also runs an Access to English Language Programme to prepare children to compete equally in the world, or provide children an opportunity to become global citizens.
The success of CARE schools is down to the curriculum being exactly the same as in the best private schools, with co-education and English language teaching.
Ms Aziz said: “We’ve never educated poor children, we just think of them as our children; the children of our nation, and the future of our country. Our children stand equal. We have a huge belief in equality of opportunity.”
CARE also runs a successful Higher Education Scholarship Programme awarding 1,000 college and higher education scholarships each year to enable CARE students to go to the best colleges and universities.
This programme has been a life-changing initiative; CARE scholars have gone on to become doctors, engineers, bankers, lawyers and entrepreneurs.
According to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), literacy still stands at around 50 percent in Pakistan, with around 55 million illiterate people in the country. It warns illiteracy exacerbates cycles of poverty, ill-health and deprivation, weakening communities and increasing marginalization.
Ms Aziz said: “The vision is that one day that these children will change the destiny of the nation. Education empowers. I do believe the children of the world belong to all of us; if they’re in trouble anywhere, one should reach out. If there’s one thing you can do to help a nation move forward, it’s education.”
To support the CARE Foundation’s mission to get one million children into school by 2025, please donate Donate – Care Foundation (carepakistan.org)
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