Education is a fundamental right for every individual and a crucial aspect of human development. It opens up doors to opportunities and shapes the future of individuals and communities. Mostly it is considered the responsibility of a state to provide the necessary opportunities and facilities of education to its citizens but in developing countries like Pakistan, some NGOs do play their part in helping the state. In any modern nation-state, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) act as a bridge between people and the state machinery. In most cases, their function is to amplify the demands and needs of the masses and make sure that the government act upon those demands to make governance more efficient. Though in most cases, the focus of both CSOs and CBOs is on human rights and law and order in some extreme cases, they do help the govt, especially in times of calamity and natural catastrophes like earthquakes, etc. But in developing countries like Pakistan, the role of these organizations become much more active and vibrant as the country lacks proper resources as well as the gap between the masses and the ruling elite is much wider. So, we see in Pakistan, NGOs not only restrict themselves to raising awareness on human rights and civil rights but also tend to focus on education. The role of community-based organizations in improving education is very pertinent in Pakistan.
Ways to Contribute
There are several ways to enhance the role of community based organizations in improving education.
- Providing Alternative Education Opportunities
One of the most significant ways in which CBOs have been able to improve education in Pakistan is by providing alternative education opportunities to students. In many areas, government-run schools are inadequate, and students are not receiving the quality education they need to succeed. CBOs have stepped in to fill this gap by providing alternative education opportunities to students.
For example, many CBOs have established informal schools that cater to students who are not able to attend formal schools due to various reasons, such as poverty, lack of schools in their area, or lack of access to transportation. These schools are designed to provide basic education to children, including literacy and numeracy skills, and provide an environment where children can learn and grow.
In addition to providing education, CBOs have also been able to provide vocational training to students, equipping them with the skills they need to succeed in the workforce. For example, some CBOs have established training centers that offer courses in computer skills, tailoring, and other trades, which can help students secure employment and earn a livelihood.
- Improving Infrastructure and Resources
Another way in which CBOs have been able to improve education in Pakistan is by improving the infrastructure and resources available to students. In many areas, schools lack basic amenities such as running water, electricity, and proper classrooms, which can hinder the learning experience for students. CBOs have been able to provide these resources to schools, improving the learning environment and making it easier for students to succeed.
For example, some CBOs have established libraries in schools, providing students with access to books and other learning materials. They have also been able to provide schools with computers, internet access, and other resources that are essential for modern-day education. By doing so, CBOs have been able to improve the quality of education in schools and provide students with the tools they need to succeed
- Supporting Teacher Training and Development
Another crucial way in which CBOs have been able to improve education in Pakistan is by supporting teacher training and development. In many areas, the quality of teachers is poor, and they lack the training and resources they need to deliver quality education to students. CBOs have been able to provide teacher training programs and workshops, equipping teachers with the skills and knowledge they need to provide quality education to students.
For example, some CBOs have established teacher training programs that focus on areas such as teaching methods, curriculum development, and classroom management. By doing so, they have been able to improve the quality of education in schools and provide students with better opportunities for their future.
Role of Community-Based Organizations in Pakistan
Community-Based Organizations play a multifaceted role in developing the field of education. Here are some examples that come to mind as soon as the role of community-based organizations is mentioned in the development of education:
- Al-Khidmat Aaghosh Program
Al Khidmat Foundation (AKF) is a renowned NGO working in many dimensions, from building schools and hospitals to rehabilitating flood victims. But the Aaagosh program of Al Khaidmat deserves special praise. It entirely focuses on the personal, economic, and skill development of orphans, which are mostly from underprivileged or far-flung areas. The organization has dedicated special homes to these children and has arranged teachers and trainers for their education as well. As of now, they have orphan homes in almost 20 cities across the country, 8 are under construction with almost 15,00 children getting benefits from these facilities.
- Ghazali Education Trust
Ghazali Education Trust (GET) is another organization working to provide quality education to the children of rural areas. They have different established programs focusing entirely on the education of children. These programs include the literate Baluchistan Program, Orphan Support program, Sponsor a disabled child program, etc.
Upon its launching, the focus of Dr Amjad Saqib, founder and CEO of Akhuwat, was entirely on providing interest-free loans to youngsters so they can start small-scale businesses. But recently, Akhuwat Foundation has several programs and initiatives that are focusing on education. They have established a college in the city of Kasur, near Lahore offering different sets of degrees and scholarships to students and the vision of Dr Saqib is to turn this whole project into Akhuwat University in the near future. Apart from this college in Kasur, they have also established a “women only” college in Chakwal targeting the rural women to enhance their educational and technical skills.