Educating children living in slums using a tent school system; replacing traditional teaching methods with game based learning tools.
Almost 25 million children are out of school in Pakistan (State of Pakistan's Children report, 2011). The huge number of dropout children is the high and unaffordable cost of education. Pakistan, where poverty is increasing day by day, the education is considered as leisure. The poor strive for filling their empty bellies, they need food to eat and shelter to live, and after these basic facilities are met then they think about education. But when it comes to educations they are unable to pay the expenses of schools moreover the quality of education is also poor, the main focus is on bringing good grades while true learning is not given an heed. The current education system of Pakistan encourages root learning which needs to be changed by giving due importance to learning and problem solving rather than simply memorizing and reproducing. Our team members are from different culture and backgrounds which give us slight edge in bridging the cultural and social barriers.
In Pakistan the infrastructure of schools remains the top priority whereas the quality of education at schools is on 2nd priority. Every school is in race of building huge schools equipped with luxurious facilities like air conditioners, state of the art lighting system, alarm system and such other things. Most of the money is spent on these aesthetics. This result in huge financial budgets of schools and the requirements of this budget are met from the pockets of students and their parents in the form of paying high monthly fees.
We at The Tent School System believe that the top priority should be given to the quality of education rather than infrastructure. By Quality education we mean to impart such education which encourages problem solving and enhances the thinking capabilities of the students. The students can learn and excel in an environment having basic facilities of shelter and lighting, provided that they are given quality education.
The Tent School System has almost no infrastructure cost, thereby resulting in charging nominal fee and for those who can’t afford they will be exempted from paying this nominal fee. The students are taught in a well ventilated tent. The tent serves as a shelter from sun and other environmental factors. There is no compromise on quality of education. We are using 2 Tablet PC’s per Tent School, the teacher uses these PC’s to facilitate the child’s learning. The Tent School System serves as blessing for the underprivileged slums of Pakistan. Where the parents have no adequate resources to send their children to schools and afford their fees. This initiative of Tent Schools gives them opportunity to get high quality education at affordable price.
Our team comprises of energetic individuals who are passionate to serve the society. The team includes Graphic Designers, Story Tellers and Curriculum Advisers. The team members have diverse educational and social backgrounds. We have dedicated people from KPK, Punjab, Sindh and Baluchistan on board who are enthusiastic and committed to drive the boat forward.
The Crowdfunding Money and It’s Support to us
We have already launched the the first branch of The Tent School System at a slum near H11, Islamabad. This was a pilot project and its success in terms of students enrolled (30 students in 1st week), the performance of students, the appraisal of the community and the media coverage gave us a new boost and we decided to expand it across other slums of Pakistan. However as all of us on our team are students and we don’t have resources for the deemed expansion so we thought that crowd funding can serve us the best to resolve our challenge of lack of resources. Through crowd funding we can attract donors who will help us in carrying this project forward. Currently we are planning to deploy the same model of Tent School System in 3 slums in the following areas
For this expansion we need resources which are to be met through crowd funding.
Utilizing the 3000 Pounds and its Social Impact
The fund will be utilized in expansion of the Tent School System. This will be used to setup the three tent Schools in slums of Charssada(KPK),Swabi(KPK),G13(Islamabad)
For establishing one tent school the infrastructure cost is 70,000 Pakistani Rupees. This cost include buying of tent for school, setting up the tent with the permission of local community, Providing stationary to the children, providing solar powered lights and fans and providing two Tablet PC’s to each tent school. The three tent schools at three different locations will be allotted Rs 70,000 each for infrastructure. We are planning for a Suzuki vehicle for giving pick and drop service to students of other slums. This will cost around 5 lac rupees but this is pipelined for future, currently we are focusing on establishing these three new branches of The ten School System.
The people living at slums of Pakistan are in poor condition. They are marginalized and are not provided equality opportunities in terms of education and other facilities. Setting up these schools will give a positive message to these underprivileged people, they will feel equal and they will be motivated to contribute in the society. Education serves as a source of awareness, through the platform of education awareness regarding cleanliness, harmony, ethics and other such things will be spread. We have already experienced the love given to us in Our Pilot project. The people of Slums were initially amazed that somebody cares about them, once they are given this initial confidence they can themselves open other paths for the improvement of their condition and lifestyle.
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