„School is fun and we want to learn!“

Monika Girls High School in the Bagrot Valley, Northpakistan

This statement was often repeated by the girls and young women in Bagrot valley on our visit in Mai 2009. We had numerous talks with pupils and teachers of different schools, and with parents, too. At Monika Girls High School we were regular guests. Travelling in the Northern Areas of Pakistan is still safe. Since autum 2009, after decades of struggle, the region archieved more political independence and is now called Gilgit-Baltistan. It is out of the way of Pakistan´s curren trouble spots /crisis areas. Monika Girls High School The school- and college-classes are by – and – large running smoothly, based on a high rate of acceptance within the population. The numbers speak for themselves: 302 pupils are now attending the girlsschool and 42 students the three college-classes. Instructions for the pupils and the students is taught by 21 teachers. Nine teachers are financed by the Board of Education and twelve teachers from your donations.
The 12 privately - financed teachers are costing a total of 830 EUR.

Most of the girls are eager to go to school, they like it and archieve good to very good results. This year 90 % of the girls in the 10. class passed the final exams, in the 9.class the figure was still 70%. And this, despite the fact that the girls have no time to do regular homework because they have to do a lot of work in the house and in the fields. Sometimes they have to miss the lessons.

For many years lessons have been organized in two shifts. The morning is reserved for the seven classes of pre- and elementary school, the afternoon is for further education lessons up to class 12. Since the beginning of the new term in April the 9. class has 86 (!) pupils and had to be split into two classes. – a great success which speaks for the school. Credit for this goes in particular to the two local co-ordinators Ahmad Ali and Muhammad Sharif. They look after the interests of the school and run its affairs with extraordinary ability.

New offer of education

Because of the requirements from some young women they offer since March 2009 upgrading courses for a further education section: one additional teacher prepares the school- and collegegraduates for the „Certificate of Teaching“. This certificate, awarded after a written examination at a public college, is required for employment in government schools, apart from a regular school- and college certificate. And more and more women are very much interested in that.
The additional teacher costs 80 EUR per month.
Considering our limited funds there was nothing left for the measures such as the purchase of teaching material for the school or for a reading competiton. Priority goes to the professional interests of the young women. It was also necessary to increase the salaries of all teachers by about 30 %, backdated to January, in view of the considerable price-increases (50-100%) for everyday goods like wheat, flour, oil, sugar, rice, firewood, gas etc.

Donations well invested

For the current year the total expenditure for all teachers amounts to 10.000 EUR, a sum which is well invested. Many of our friends and the organization “Forum Kinder in Not e. V.” made with their donations this development program this year possible. Some have called for donations instead of presents at private functions. Thank you very much for that. The former class 10 of the Ursulinen secondary school Cologne provided with their engagement an impressive contribution and the team from Offroad Reports in Zurich donated their well deserved film-award. For that, too, our sincere thanks!

Scholarship system

The award of scholarships for attending the BASE Public School in Bagrot is now in its third year. It was to be decided on the basis of a test in maths, Urdu and English for girls from all primary schools in the valley who have cleared the 3. and 4. class. The huge interest took us completely by surprise: 117 schoolgirls showed up for the test! In the past two years 30-40 girls took part.
At present a scholarship, i.e. the school-fees cost 3 EUR a month for one schoolgirl.
There are now 12 girls from different villages, who are able to attend the private community school this way. I have undertaken to be responsible for the school-fees of the scholarship-holders until they graduate from class 8, which at present is the final class. That is done in the hope that after that the parents are willing and able to finance attendance at a secondary school outside the valley from their own means.

Economic factor school

The Monika Girls High School is today the third biggest employer in the Bagrot valley, after the government and the community school BASE, which is managed by a local self-help organization. And nearly all working women in Bagrot, e.g. in schools and in the health services, are graduates from our girls school. Even small local businesses benefit from the big school, because the schoolgirls regularly need things for school and school uniforms etc..

A very big thankyou from Bagrot to all donors and to the women of the “Forum Kinder in Not e. V.” As in all previous years the donation money will be spent one to one for the salaries of the private teachers and the most important school materials.

Kind regards to you from Hamburg!

Monika Schneid, November 2009

For pictures please go to Fotos or to 15. Anniversary

Further information about the schoolproject and the Bagrote Valley: Monika Schneid Marienthaler Straße 156 20535 Hamburg Tel: 040-250 37 08 E-Mail: monika@monikaschneid.de Web: www.bagrote.net

Donations Account:
Forum Kinder in Not e.V.
Bank: Kreissparkasse Tuebingen
Account-No: 2 75 3609
Bank Code: 641 500 20
IBAN: DE31641500200002753609
Reference: Bagrot/Pakistan (please indicate)

By indicating your complete address on the remittance slip, a donation receipt will be provided automatically.

Bagrot Newsletter 2009.pdf

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way to school 1

way to school 2

roll call in the morning

lesson in primary school

Highschool Time-Table

Lesson in Highschool Class 9A

A rest on the way to school

Test in BASE-School

Training for the teacher certificate

Staff of Girlsschool and College

Backing bread

Mädchenfussball auf 3000m