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News from the Girls' School in Datuchi, Bagrot (Pakistan)

A many-voiced ‘Thank You’ goes to all the friends of the private girls' school in Datuchi in the Bagrot valley (Northern Pakistan), which is now slowly growing out of its infancy. Today, 235 girls attend the school, which started in 1992 as a private initiative in a private home with 20 students. The lessons for the 1.-8. Class take place in the morning. The 9th and 10th grade students are taught in the afternoons as classrooms are missing.

"Our Heart Opens"

an overjoyed teacher told me as she talked about the new school building. Already in May, the students have moved after years of tolerated stay in the boys school in their own rooms. The newly founded public middle school for girls consists of two buildings each with 4 classrooms, staff room, office and a small toilet house. On the large, uneven school campus on a hillside, the students have planted their first flowers. One teacher already “complained%rdquo; that many students are reluctant to go home at noon. The teachers also move around on their own grounds happy and carefree.

What is missing?

The number of teachers has been increased from nine (2003) to thirteen to ensure that there are enough teachers available each day to teach and that each class is finally taught separately. Ten teachers, despite the governments recognition of our project school as a middle school, must be privately financed until further notice! That's a monthly cost of 175 € (12,000 PKR).

It is time to build up remedial education for the 11th and 12th grade students. Successful and ambitious high school graduates can study regularly in a sheltered room outside the home and take their exams at an intermediate college near Bagrot. The costs for two appropriately qualified teachers amount to 120 € per month (8,000 PKR).

In addition to the funds for staff costs, heating stoves and floor mats are urgently needed for the individual classrooms. And some benches and tables, because school furniture will be provided by the school board at the earliest next year. The chairs and school benches acquired a few years ago have remained in the Government Boys' School, as a compensation for the years-long, afternoon use of their rooms.

Monika Schneid
November 2004
Marienthaler Str. 156 20535 Hamburg
Phone: +49+40-250 37 08
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