"Education at Home"
Monika Higher Secondary School for Girls in Datuchi / Bagrot Valley
Project Report 2020
The year with Corona
A project visit to the Bagrot Valley in Northern Pakistan was unfortunately not possible this year. Closed borders, also within the country, quarantine regulations here and there, increasing numbers of infections and a weak health system, plus social restrictions, closed schools, etc. A visit there would have been a heavy burden for our friends and would have been irresponsible on our part.
Fortunately, the number of sick people in the Bagrot Valley is very low so far. I was told that there is hardly any testing. The test capacities in the mountain province of Gilgit-Baltistan are low and the evaluation is time-consuming due to the long distances to the laboratories. Our long-standing project coordinator Ahmad Ali unfortunately fell seriously ill in October and was treated appropriately thanks to two very committed doctors from Bagrot. Lucky! Even if the recovery proves to be tedious, which is what worries him the most.
All educational institutions across the country were closed from March to September. The students in Bagrot practiced self-study, supported by the teachers by phone and, where necessary, with house calls. E-learning is not yet an option in Bagrot. There is a lack of reliable internet connection, technical equipment and electronic teaching materials. In the summer, individual television stations began to include teaching units in their programs. On November 26th, all educational institutions were closed again until December 24th, then the shortened winter holidays will begin until January 10th. The number of sick people has risen steadily and drastically across the country since autumn, and the government was forced to react.
The milestone: things are moving forward
In May 2017, the provincial minister of education approved the expansion of the government girls high school up to grade 12 (1st and 2nd year of college). Two years later, in June 2019, the Minister for Public Infrastructure officially upgraded the school to a Higher Secondary School (= College).
Monika Higher Secondary School
Our education project for girls has been running for 29 years in January 2021. We owe the gradual successes to the many supporters in Germany and in Bagrot. The school sector has been adequately supplied by the state for several years. The teachers for the secondary classes (college) still have to be financed from private donations for the time being.
229 girls attend the school area, the Government Girls High School Datuchi (grades 1-10), and are taught by 25 government-employed teachers. The 9th and 10th grades have 60 and 54 students respectively. That speaks volumes for the importance of schooling for girls in Bagrot today. 151 students (70 new registrations and 81 students already enrolled) attend the Monika Higher Secondary School Datuchi in the 11th-14th grade. Great. In Pakistan they are called 1st to 4th college year. Up to 6 class groups are taught by the 11 teachers who we finance with your donations.
"Education at Home" was the college's motto when classes started in September. Study in the Bagrot Valley and not outside in the cities of the region where the infection rates are high. This has had an impact on calls for new enrollments and returns to college. The number of new registrations was comparatively high.
The final exams for the individual school levels were suspended nationwide in the summer and rescheduled for in November. Pupils in non-final years were transferred based on the previous year's grades.
The most important subjects taught in college classes are Urdu, English, sociology, pedagogy, regional studies, economics, and in the science-oriented classes, physics, biology and chemistry.
At the same time, a teacher is entrusted with organizational tasks, supported by an assistant who takes care of the students personally. The college classes are usually taught in the afternoon in the empty rooms of the girls' school; there are still no free classrooms for morning classes. In September 2019 I did not meet any female students from the Bagrot village of Sinakir in the classes. The way home in the evening in the dark is dangerous, it leads through impassable scree terrain.
What is missing
This year continuous lessons in the school premises. In Bagrot there are few real alternatives to face-to-face teaching. Now the government has ordered home learning again for the last few weeks of the year. This does not work smoothly in many families in Bagrot either. The teachers provide group and individual support on the phone, with house calls and on the school premises. The internet connection for the valley was expanded in October. But very few female students have access to a smartphone, hardly any to a tablet, laptop or similar. The families do not have the money for that. So we sincerely hope for a return to normal operations in January 2021, with lots of lessons outdoors, when it gets warmer again from March on.
The total costs for the college's teaching staff and material costs to be financed from private donations total EUR 15,000 in the current school year. We are very grateful for any support. There are good examples of this, which might inspire imitation:Fundraisers 2020
100% of your donations go to the educational project. I would like to thank all supporters for their commitment to this good cause. The students, parents, teachers and many other people from the Bagrot Valley send out a many-voiced Thank You and greetings. I wish you and you: Above all, stay healthy!
With kind regards!
Further Informations:Monika Schneid, Marienthaler St. 156, 20535 Hamburg Tel. 040-2503708, email@example.com
Images: College teacher Kaseer, 2020
An educational biography à la Bagrot
This young woman, 27 years old (last picture, bottom right), 2 children (6 and 1), attended elementary and middle school in Datuchi, was accepted as a talented student at a private higher secondary school outside the valley, living with relatives there. After studying a few college semesters in Islamabad with great ambition, her goal was a university place in medicine, living in the dormitory there.
With kind regards!
Further Informations: Monika Schneid, Marienthaler St. 156, 20535 Hamburg Tel. 040-2503708, firstname.lastname@example.org
Donation Account: Kreissparkasse Tübingen, IBAN: DE31641500200002753609, BIC: SOLADES1TUB, Forum Kinder in Not e.V. Heading "Pakistan".
Pictures of Bagrot