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Bagrot Basics

German Version

"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).
The recognition of the college, which has been financed by donations since 2005, as a Higher Secondary School does not mean any relief in terms of project costs for the time being. First, two of the three existing school buildings will be topped up. And this expansion, which was progressing very quickly, was stopped in March due to the corona. All construction workers went back to their hometowns waiting there for the construction freeze to end. In the meantime, construction has continued. The upper floors are now in the shell and still have to be plastered and the interor completed.
After completion and construction acceptance, 30-35 positions will be advertised, followed by the selection process for teachers and other staff. Until then we have to be content with the foundation table. This is the normal administrative procedure in Pakistan.

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.
We now share the travel costs for privately organized transport with the parents. There is no public transport in the valley.

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.

Project Costs

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
  • 6th reading marathon at the Ursulinenrealschule Cologne during the Christmas holidays 2019/2020: 142 reading-loving pupils from grades 5-7 took part this time. A record result, also in terms of the exquisite donations.
  • The students and teachers of the Heinrich-Haus gGmbH vocational school in Neuwied supported us again this special year. Actions like the open day and other school events had to be canceled, of course.
  • Donations instead of gifts: relatives and friends have used private occasions again to support a good cause.
  • Sewing for a good cause: A friend sews with great commitment in her free time. She donates the profit from the sale of Cologne keychaines, neck pillows, other practical items and, currently, protective face masks for the school project.
  • Donation instead of fee: As far as possible under the current conditions, 3 women were privately on the mat with a yoga teacher associated with the project, who had them donate the fee.
  • Some permanent donors, long-term supporters and also the members of the Forum Kinder in Not e.V. contribute significantly to the continuation of the project. I am very grateful for their trust and loyalty.

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!
Monika Schneid
Hamburg, 2020

Further Informations:

Monika Schneid, Marienthaler St. 156, 20535 Hamburg Tel. 040-2503708,

Donation Account: Kreissparkasse Tübingen, IBAN: DE31641500200002753609, BIC: SOLADES1TUB, Forum Kinder in Not e.V. Heading "Pakistan".


Images: College teacher Kaseer, 2020
(Many thanks to Kaseer for providing his cell phone photos.)


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.
After the first maternity break, she completed her bachelor's degree at the still young university in Gilgit two years ago. Today she works as a young teacher at a school in the small town of Danyore, on the road from Gilgit to Bagrot. At the same time she is completing an additional pedagogical course for the official qualification for teaching. Married at the age of 19. Two years later, the first child came in the middle of their studies, and last year the second, a desired child. She is supported in her goals by her extended family and husband. Traditional family situations and the personal training interests of young women in Bagrot can successfully go hand in hand.

With kind regards!
Monika Schneid
Hamburg, 16.10.2019

Further Informations: Monika Schneid, Marienthaler St. 156, 20535 Hamburg Tel. 040-2503708,

Donation Account: Kreissparkasse Tübingen, IBAN: DE31641500200002753609, BIC: SOLADES1TUB, Forum Kinder in Not e.V. Heading "Pakistan".

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Pictures of Bagrot

Gedenktafel nach dem Schulfest

Neubau 1

Neubau 2

Fiebermessen vor Unterichtsbeginn

Fiebermessen in der Klasse

2 Lehrer messen Fieber

Lehrer Ilyas beim Chemieunterricht

Unterricht auf der Veranda

Ilyas mit Klasse

Neue Collegklassei

Collegeklasse mit Principal Kaseer

Top of Pictures