Anum's father is employed as a driver and her mother works as a maid. The slum school she attended is run by The Citizen's Foundation (TCF), a private foundation. From 5 schools in Karachi in 1995, TCF has expanded to 910 purpose-built schools with 126,000 students in 97 towns and cities across Pakistan.
|Institute of Business Management (IoBM) Karachi|
After graduating from the TCF school located near her slum, Fatima has completed her BBA in Human Resource. She is currently attending College of Business Management (CBM) of the Institute of Business Management (IoBM), a private Business School in Karachi.
Anum is breaking many stereotypes about Pakistani women, particularly poor women, by studying business management at top business schools in Pakistan and the United States. She told a news reporter that when she broke the news to her father, he did not know what Harvard was. “When he went to work that day, he asked his boss, who told him what a tremendous achievement it was,” she said.
Although it's the first time that a TCF grad is going to Harvard, the Foundation schools have had many success stories of its graduates from poor families who have gone on to attend professional schools to become doctors, engineers, lawyers, teachers and business executives.
In spite of its many failings in adequately funding human development, Pakistan has continued to offer much greater upward economic and social mobility to its citizens than neighboring India over the last two decades. Since 1990, Pakistan's middle class had expanded by 36.5% and India's by only 12.8%, according to an ADB report titled "Asia's Emerging Middle Class: Past, Present And Future.
New York Times' Sabrina Tavernise described the rise of Pakistan's middle class in a story from Pakistani town of Muzaffargarh in the following words:
For years, feudal lords reigned supreme, serving as the police, the judge and the political leader. Plantations had jails, and political seats were practically owned by families.
Instead of midwifing democracy, these aristocrats obstructed it, ignoring the needs of rural Pakistanis, half of whom are still landless and desperately poor more than 60 years after Pakistan became a state.
But changes began to erode the aristocrats’ power. Cities sprouted, with jobs in construction and industry. Large-scale farms eclipsed old-fashioned plantations. Vast hereditary lands splintered among generations of sons, and many aristocratic families left the country for cities, living beyond their means off sales of their remaining lands. Mobile labor has also reduced dependence on aristocratic families.
In Punjab, the country’s most populous province, and its most economically advanced, the number of national lawmakers from feudal families shrank to 25 percent in 2008 from 42 percent in 1970, according to a count conducted by Mubashir Hassan, a former finance minister, and The New York Times.
“Feudals are a dying breed,” said S. Akbar Zaidi, a Karachi-based fellow with the Carnegie Foundation. “They have no power outside the walls of their castles.”
upward social mobility in Pakistan with a series of motivational "Zara Sochiey" videos on young men and women who have risen from humble origins to achieve significant successes in recent years. Each individual portrayed in the series has overcome adversity and focused on acquiring education as a ticket to improve his or her economic and social situation.
GeoTV videos feature a number of young men and women, including Saima Bilal, Kashif Faiq, Qaisar Abbas and many others, to inspire and encourage other Pakistanis to pursue their dreams against all odds.
Contrary to the incessant talk of doom and gloom, the fact is that the level of educational attainment has been rising in recent decades. In fact, Pakistan has been increasing enrollment of students in schools at a faster rate since 1990 than India, according to data compiled and reported by Harvard University researchers Robert Barro and Jhong-Wa Lee . In 1990, there were 66.2% of Pakistanis vs 51.6% of Indians in 15+ age group who had had no schooling. In 2000, there were 60.2% Pakistanis vs 43% Indians with no schooling. In 2010, Pakistan reduced it to 38% vs India's 32.7%.
As of 2010, there are 380 (vs 327 Indians) out of every 1000 Pakistanis age 15 and above who have never had any formal schooling. Of the remaining 620 (vs 673 Indians) who enrolled in school, 22 (vs 20 Indians) dropped out before finishing primary school, and the remaining 598 (vs 653 Indians) completed it. There are 401 (vs 465 Indians) out of every 1000 Pakistanis who made it to secondary school. 290 (vs 69 Indians) completed secondary school while 111 (vs. 394 Indians) dropped out. Only 55 (vs 58 Indians) made it to college out of which 39 (vs 31 Indians) graduated with a degree.
Education and development efforts are beginning to bear fruit even in remote areas of Pakistan, including Federally Administered Tribal Areas. The Guardian newspaper recently reported that FATA's Bajaur agency alone has 616 school with over 60,000 boys and girls receiving take-home rations. Two new university campuses have been approved for FATA region and thousands of kilometers of new roads are being constructed. After a recent visit to FATA, Indian journalist Hindol Sengupta wrote in The Hindu newspaper that "even Bajaur has a higher road density than India"
Prior to significant boost in public spending on education during Musharraf years, the number of private schools in Pakistan grew 10 fold from about 3000 in 1983 to over 30,000 in 2000. Primary school enrollment in 1983 has increased 937%, far greater than the 57% population increase in the last two decades.
With current public education funding at just 2% of GDP, the Pakistani government is clearly abdicating its responsibility of educating poor children. Fortunately, there are a number of highly committed individuals and organizations like The Citizens Foundation (TCF) and the Human Development Foundation (HDF) which are very active in raising funds and building and operating schools to improve the situation in Pakistan. It is important that all of us who care for the future of Pakistan should generously help these and similar other organizations.
Pakistan Must Fix Primary Education
Pakistan Human Development Since 1980s
Working Women in Pakistan
Pakistan's Out-of-School Children
Pakistan's Human Capital
Status of Women in Pakistan
Upwardly Mobile Pakistan
Teach For Pakistan
Business Education in Pakistan
Developing Pakistan's Intellectual Capital
Intellectual Wealth of Nations
Resilient Pakistan Defies Doomsayers
A Spirit elevating news, thanks for sharing it Riaz Haq Sahib.
This is something to be proud of because
1. Anum Fatima.
2. TCF that provided her platform
Idiot religious extremists and corrupt leaders are barrier/cancer in the growth of Pakistan but Anum Fatima and TCF are real assets of Pakistan.
even as an Indian I feel that this is a spirit elevating news which shows human endeavor has no limits.
Now let us hope pakistan's superior school enrolling translates into Pakistan growing a knowledge based economy to compete with India, or a manufacturing industry to compete with India. Otherwise what is the use of education.
This is a tremendous achievement. Thanks for consistently reminding us of the many positive things that happen in Pakistan. Your observations are really welcome, backed as they are by statistics and actual data.
Last month I had the opportunity to visit a TCF school in Karachi. Although its located along the banks of a Sewage river, the students, teachers and the staff were no less motivated than any other school in the world. The day I visited the school, a local company was conducting a entrepreneurial seminar. When we visited the classroom, the excitement was obviously about winning the first position but the 6 teams were more interested telling us about their ideas and why their idea should be the winner. The enthusiasm and confidence was really something to witness. The winning team would have easily competed at any global stage. Considering where these students come from, the things they are doing can easily be compared to a private school in Karachi. Obviously there are challenges but with ample exposure these children can do wonders just like what Anum did.
Please continue to support the TCF schools and build the next generation of Pakistan …
Whats the connection between the girl getting a scholarship and rising middle class?
Roy: "Whats the connection between the girl getting a scholarship and rising middle class?"
I guess it's too hard for you to understand that education is the ticket for the poor slum dwellers to move up to the middle class.
There are many benefits of rural to urban migration for migrants' lives, including reduction in abject poverty, empowerment of women, increased access to healthcare and education and other services. Historically, cities have been driving forces in economic and social development. As centers of industry and commerce, cities have long been centers of wealth and power. They also account for a disproportionate share of national income. The World Bank estimates that in the developing world, as much as 80 percent of future economic growth will occur in towns and cities. Nor are the benefits of urbanization solely economic. Urbanization is associated with higher incomes, improved health, higher literacy, and improved quality of life. Other benefits of urban life are less tangible but no less real: access to information, diversity, creativity, and innovation.
Frankly I did not know about the progress these institutions are making in Pakistan. Because the usual news from Pakistan is negative. Thank you for putting a professional report together.
But I don't think we should compare our self with India, due to a major difference in the social structure. Pakistan is a nation in building, while they are a little over bloated with their size.
In a country of 180+ million there is should be no resting easy because one girl made it. There are countless millions who do not get even 10% of opportunity that this wonderful child got.
Good news is great but let us not get blinded by it and ignore poor children suffering due to poor governance violence and militancy!!
Here's a Dawn report on Pak-Turk school students placing second in an international contest:
Two students from Islamabad have bagged silver medal in the world finals of the International Computer Projects Competition held recently in Romania by giving solution to end loadshedding and resolve issue of energy theft.
Shahbaz Khattak and Abdul Muizz Lodhi of PakTurk School Islamabad have designed a GSM-based Automatic Meter Reader (AMR) which was presented in the Infomatrix Romania where their project won silver medal in the category of Hardware Control.
AMR can collect consumption data from power, gas and water meters without involvement of meter readers. It transmits data to central database of service providing company for billing, troubleshooting, and analysis.
AMR saves utility providers the expense of visiting every location to read a meter, its billing is based on actual consumption rather than estimates, past or predicted consumption.
Moreover timely information can help utility providers and customers’ better control usage and production.
It provides accurate data, track usage, improve energy management, detect tempering and cut operational costs by discouraging wastage to boost profit. It can be used for security and fire alarm systems.
Khattak and Lodhi said that metre reading will no more remain a time consuming and labour intensive manual process if gas, power and water utilities employ ARM which will also settle the issues of complaints by consumers and increasing energy theft presently estimated at Rs250 billion annually.
Also, some modification can enable power companies to switch off air conditioners and other home appliances drawing extreme amounts of energy remotely which will end the need of loadshedding in Pakistan where over 5000MW is consumed by A/Cs in summer, the students said.
Commenting on the development PakTurk officials Kamil Ture and Turgut Puyan said that participation in global competitions and winning prizes has become a regular feature for Pakistani students which reflect their talent.
Educational institutions should encourage young to apply their imagination, passion, and creativity to make a difference.
The competitions are not just about promoting professional excellence; it also serves to promote intercultural dialogue and cooperation, said Ture.
Hundreds of students from many countries including United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Russian Federation, Macedonia, Belgium, Romania, Poland, Hong Kong, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Tanzania, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Vietnam, Hungary, Mexico, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ecuador, Thailand, Indonesia, Turkey, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Laos, Colombia, Kenya, Albania, Iraq, and Malaysia participated in the event and presented projects covering a wide variety of topics.
It gives us great pride to share with you the success of two former TCF students who have received scholarships to attend premier universities in the US this year.
Anum Fatima completed her matriculation studies at the TCF school in Yousuf Goth. Her stellar results at the intermediate level led to admission at the College of Business Management where she completed her BBA degree in. She secured admission to the MBA program at the Institute of Business Management (IoBM). She was then accepted to the 2013 US Sisters Summer Exchange Program supported by the US Pakistan Women's Council, whereby she has received a scholarship to attend the Harvard Business School during the summer semester. Anum hails from humble origins and is the eldest of five siblings. Her father works as a chauffeur, earning a modest salary of $100 a month.
Nadeem Hussain joined the TCF school at Ibrahim Goth in the 4th grade. When it came time for his matriculation exam, Nadeem was the highest scorer among the regional TCF schools. Nadeem gained admission at the Institute of Business Administration, one of the leading universities in Pakistan, through the competitive National Talent Hunt Program. He is currently in the 3rd year of his Bachelors in Computer Science degree and has been selected for the "Study of the United States Institute for Student Leaders on Comparative Public Policy - 2013 Program" (USEFP). He will attend the program at the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute Civic Initiative in Amherst, Massachusetts. Nadeem's father works at a factory producing wires and earns a nominal wage of between $150 to $200 every month. He is the second of 5 siblings, all of whom have completed their matriculate from TCF.
For a typical TCF student who comes from an economically challenged background, to be able to attend a premier university in the US is nothing short of a miracle. It is the care and support of people like you that makes such miracles possible.
Here's a Reuters' report on a newly-inducted female fighter pilot in Pak Air Force:
With an olive green head scarf poking out from her helmet, Ayesha Farooq flashes a cheeky grin when asked if it is lonely being the only war-ready female fighter pilot in the Islamic republic of Pakistan.
Farooq, from Punjab province's historic city of Bahawalpur, is one of 19 women who have become pilots in the Pakistan Air Force over the last decade - there are five other female fighter pilots, but they have yet to take the final tests to qualify for combat.
"I don't feel any different. We do the same activities, the same precision bombing," the soft-spoken 26-year-old said of her male colleagues at Mushaf base in north Pakistan, where neatly piled warheads sit in sweltering 50 degree Celsius heat (122 F).
A growing number of women have joined Pakistan's defence forces in recent years as attitudes towards women change.
"Because of terrorism and our geographical location it's very important that we stay on our toes," said Farooq, referring to Taliban militancy and a sharp rise in sectarian violence.
Deteriorating security in neighbouring Afghanistan, where U.S.-led troops are preparing to leave by the end of next year, and an uneasy relationship with arch rival India to the east add to the mix.
Farooq, whose slim frame offers a study in contrast with her burly male colleagues, was at loggerheads with her widowed and uneducated mother seven years ago when she said she wanted to join the air force.
"In our society most girls don't even think about doing such things as flying an aircraft," she said.
Family pressure against the traditionally male domain of the armed forces dissuaded other women from taking the next step to become combat ready, air force officials said. They fly slower aircraft instead, ferrying troops and equipment around the nuclear-armed country of 180 million.
"LESS OF A TABOO"
Centuries-old rule in the tribal belt area along the border with Afghanistan, where rape, mutilation and the killing of women are ordered to mete out justice, underlines conservative Pakistan's failures in protecting women's rights.
But women are becoming more aware of those rights and signing up with the air force is about as empowering as it gets.
"More and more ladies are joining now," said Nasim Abbas, Wing Commander of Squadron 20, made up of 25 pilots, including Farooq, who fly Chinese-made F-7PG fighter jets....
Here's an Atlantic Magazine story on Pakistanis taking MOOCs at MIT:
It's more than 11,000 kilometers from Shakargarh, a city in northeastern Pakistan, to the venerated halls of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the top universities in the United States.
Twenty-five-year-old Khalid Raza lives in Shakargarh but is taking "The Challenges of Global Poverty," a course taught by a former adviser to the World Bank and a professor of international economics at MIT.
Recently, while on the bus, he pulled out his laptop and submitted one of his first assignments.
"It was an amazing experience when I was submitting my assignment," he said. "I was traveling and my friend was sitting with me. When I submitted my assignment, after some time he asked me a question, 'What are you doing?' So I told him the whole story, that I am taking a course from the U.S.A. He was so surprised and shocked."
The experience -- something Raza says he never thought would be possible -- doesn't cost him a single rupee. All he needed was the interest and an Internet connection to reserve his seat in a virtual MIT classroom.
Raza is one of the several million learners worldwide to have discovered "massive open online courses," or MOOCs. While a number of universities attempted to introduce free online courses in the early 2000s, MOOCs have only begun to catch fire in the last year. Today, the silly-sounding acronym has become a buzz word, and is one of the hottest topics in education.
A group of U.S. education technology startups, in partnership with dozens of top U.S. universities, now offers MOOCs on everything from poetry to physics. Course platforms feature lecture videos, other multimedia content, embedded quizzes, discussion boards, and online study groups. Essays and other projects less suited to automated grading are reviewed by classmates based on rubrics. Interaction with professors and teaching assistants is rare. Completing a course earns you a certificate, and several U.S. schools have begun to accept MOOCs for credit.
The startups' founders say their goals are at once practical and humanistic -- an effort to overcome rising education costs and a shortage of resources and make top-quality learning accessible to the masses.
Anant Agarwal, an MIT professor, is the president of edX, a nonprofit collaboration between his university and Harvard University that currently offers more than 60 MOOCs.
He believes his and similar projects are nothing short of transformative.
"I think education is not going to be the same ever again," Agarwal says. "I really describe this technology and MOOCs as the biggest revolution in education since the printing press -- and that happened 500 years ago."...
Malala inspires girls school enrollment surge in KP, reports Bloomberg:
MINGORA, Pakistan — The Pakistani Taliban's attempts to deter girls from seeking an education, epitomized by the shooting of 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai in the face last year, are backfiring as school enrollments surge in her home region.
While Yousafzai missed out last week on the Nobel Peace Prize, her plight is helping change attitudes in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, which lies at the center of a Taliban insurgency. The four-month-old provincial government boosted education spending by about 30 percent and began an enrollment drive that has added 200,000 children, including 75,000 girls.
Yousafzai's story "is certainly helping us to promote education in the tribal belt," Muhammad Atif Khan, the province's education minister, said by phone. "Education is a matter of death and life. We can't solve terrorism issues without educating people."
Taliban militants targeted Yousafzai in retaliation over her campaign for girls to be given equal rights to schooling in a country where only 40 percent of adult women can read and write. Though the Nobel award went to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Yousafzai was showered with accolades in a week in which she published her memoir: she won the European Union's top human rights prize and met President Barack Obama at the Oval Office.
The shooting occurred a year ago as Yousafzai traveled home on a school bus in Mingora, a trading hub of 1.8 million people where a majority of women still cover their faces and girls aren't comfortable answering questions from reporters. The bullet struck above her left eye, grazing her brain. She was flown for emergency surgery to Britain, where she lives today.
The increased media attention on Swat since the shooting is pressuring government officials to improve educational standards and encouraging locals to send their kids to school.
Three days ago in Mingora, as local channels flashed the news that Yousafzai didn't win the peace prize, high school student Shehzad Qamar credited her for prompting the government to build more institutions of higher learning.
"She has done what we couldn't have achieved in 100 years," Qamar said. "She gave this town an identity."..
"Taliban wanted to silence me," Yousafzai said in an interview with the BBC last week. "Malala was heard only in Pakistan, but now she is heard at the every corner of the world."
Sadiqa Ameen, a 15-year-old school girl in Swat, said she wanted to read Yousafzai's book, titled "I am Malala." The Pakistani Taliban, or Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, has threatened to kill Yousafzai and target shops selling her book, the Dawn newspaper reported, citing spokesman Shahidullah Shahid.
"This is probably the first ever book written by a Swati girl," said Ameen, who lives near Yousafzai's school. "I am sure her story will be something we all know and have gone through during the Taliban rule."
Musfira Khan Karim, 11, prayed for Yousafzai's success in the Nobel competition with her 400 schoolmates in Mingora.
"I want her back here among us," Karim said in her school's playground. "I want to know more about her. I want to meet her."
Here's a Gulf News story about Anum Fatima:
Dubai: Anum Fatima, a first-year MBA student at the College of Business Management, Karachi, has been selected to attend a seven-week programme in English for Professional Purposes at the Harvard Business School Summer Exchange Programme on a fully funded scholarship. What’s more, Anum has already been offered a one-month internship at a Washington DC firm, Conversion. Clearly, Anum is looking forward to her eight-week stay. “I am absolutely thrilled and my entire family is excited,” says the 23-year old in a phone interview to Education. Anum, the eldest in a family of five, was able to realise her education dreams thanks to scholarships through grade 9 to undergraduate study in Business Administration and now for her MBA by The Citizen’s Foundation (TCF), a Pakistan-based non-profit organisation dedicated to the field of education that helps students from impoverished background achieve their dreams.
For Soheil and Nasreen Akhtar, Anum’s parents, the news of Anum’s Harvard stint came as boundless joy. Soheil, who works as a driver in a Karachi-based organisation, was able to complete just his matriculation while his wife never had formal education. The two therefore always dreamed of their daughter achieving milestones in education. With a meagre income, Anum’s father could barely manage the family’s basic needs. Paying for the schooling fees of his children was a stretch. But Anum’s performance at school came to her rescue.
“I was very keen to study and always stood first in class even in the private Urdu medium neighbourhood schools I studied in upto grade 9,” she says. “My parents were very supportive. I must thank TCF which has been my motivating force by supporting me with scholarships as well as logistical guidance at every step. They offered me a scholarship to complete my studies after grade 9, by giving me admission at the Yousuf Goth TCF school. I became the first girl in my family to complete matriculation,” she says.
TCF did not stop at that. They offered scholarships right through college and graduation and now post graduation. “When they asked me if they could nominate me for the Harvard Summer Exchange programme, I was only too happy to consent. I was selected from a group of three nominations based on my academic qualifications and answers to the questions I sent across,” says Anum.
Her father, she says, had no clue about what Harvard, or her acceptance to it, meant. “People at his office explained to him and he was overjoyed telling our friends and extended family about it,” says Anum. Once she is back from the US, she is determined to complete her Masters, find a job and help her siblings do even better than her. “I want to help my brothers and sisters and motivate them never to give up on studies. My youngest sister, Samreen Kauser, and brother Tayyib-Ur Rehman, are enrolled in first year college. Another sister, Tayibba Kauser, is studying in the second year and a brother older than Tayyiba, Haisham Soheil, is in third year at the Szabist University. I want them all to achieve their dreams and I will do everything I can to help them,” says Anum, who is already supporting her family by tutoring at least nine girls at home, during her free time.
From The News:
After finishing school, she received a scholarship to attend the Institute of Business Management (IoBM), first for her Bachelor’s and then her Master’s. And when she applied for a US State Department programme for women, she was selected for spending three months at the Harvard University.
“It was an advanced learning programme for English. There were 15 students from all over the world. I topped my class and received a certificate, and a book signed by the Dean,” she said.
The three-month long trip to the US opened new avenues for her. She met a classmate of Benazir Bhutto, she spoke at the state department and interned at a US-based think tank.
“People in the West think that girls in Pakistan are not allowed to study. In all of the presentations I made and all the people I talked to, I told them that parents wanted their girls to study, but it was the lack of resources and awareness that held them back.”
They were also interested about knowing the state of education in Pakistan. Fatima patiently explained to them the public-private divide, and how the civil society was sometimes able to bridge the gap. She attended a fundraiser for the TCF. “I met a lot of Pakistani Americans. They were very interested in where I come from. What problems my community faces. With one of them I am currently working on a micro-finance project for Ismail Goth.”
Here's a BR story on tripling of private schools in Pakistan to 69,000:
With increasing in fiscal pressure, growing un-met demand for education, weak management of the public education system, and poor quality perception of the public schools, there is a structural gap on the supply side, revealed a report Access to Finance (A2F) for Low Cost Private Schools (LCPS).
Department for International Development (DFID) funded, Ilm Ideas Programme launched a study on Access to Finance for Low Cost Private Schools in partnership with Pakistan Microfinance Network here on Monday. The A2F for the LCPS report revealed that Pakistan's education industry provides a classic impact investment opportunity for private sector finance. Until now, the public sector has been playing a dominant role in the education industry. However, with increasing fiscal pressures, growing un-met demand for education, weak management of the public education system, and poor quality perception of the public schools there is a structural gap on the supply side. The report further states that given the scale the large number of out of school children and poor performance on international education indicators, there is a strong case for private sector intervention at the service delivery level either under a public-private partnership framework and/or on its own.
The number of private schools in Pakistan has multiplied to almost three folds - at a much faster rate than the number of public sector schools. Most of this growth has been within low cost private schools which now account for about one third of school enrolment in Pakistan. The study on 'A2F for LCPS' reports that there are currently over 69,000 low cost private schools in the country and is emerging as a key ancillary tool for improving enrolment rates and the quality of schooling in Pakistan.
Addressing on this occasion, Richard Montgomery Head of the UK's Department for International Development in Pakistan said that this innovative initiative would potentially help low cost private schools to access finance for the first time, which could enable them to invest in improving the quality of the education they provide, and expand access so that even more children can go to school. Given that Pakistan's population of 185 million will mushroom by half again within the next 40 years, innovative ideas like this will help ensure the burgeoning youth population is well educated and able to bring prosperity and stability to the country, Montgomery added.
Ross Ferguson Private Sector Development Advisor at UK's Department for International Development said that according to an estimate, LCPS sector needs over Rs 100 billion to fund existing expansion plans to support access to finance linked to investment in quality which can help raise both enrolment and learning outcomes. To achieve this education and the finance sectors must work together and the DFID is ready to support these partnerships, Ferguson added.
Panellists including representatives of Punjab Education Foundation, Education Foundation for Sindh, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, State Bank Pakistan, Khushali Bank, Kashf Foundation and First Microfinance Bank presented their views on exploring the full potential of the low cost private school sector with a view to enhancing access to credit and investment in quality solutions to improve operations, governance and overall quality of services the LCPS sector provides. A large number of people including donors, public and private sectors organisations from the education and finance sectors, school administrators and education service providers participated in the launching ceremony.
Two poor #Karachi slum kids rise from Hijrat Colony to attend McGill University. #Pakistan
The story begins in Haripur in the 1990s, Waris Khan worked at the Tarbela Dam as a labourer and made his way to Karachi with Rs500 in his pocket and a simple dream that his children’s life would be better than his.
Karachi was not welcoming at first; Waris slept on the footpath for a few months, desperately trying to eke out a living. He was convinced that Karachi would “do” something for him and that conviction kept him going.
Then, his luck began to change slowly, he found work at a vegetable stall, where for 16 hours a day he sorted and stacked vegetables. Eventually he set up his own stall, selling watermelons and fruit chaat.
He rented a room in Hijrat colony and got married. On Dec 3, 1993, his son Fazal was born.
Waris worked long hours enabling him to expand his business and he soon set up a large fruit stall in Bath Island.
He would often ask the men and women who frequented his stall about the neighbourhood school called Kensington Grammar School. Very early on, he had made up his mind that Fazal would attend this school. When the time came, he confidently strode in through the gates and insisted that they educate his son.
The school was run by a family who strongly believed in providing quality education for children from low-income backgrounds. Adil Soomro whose family set up the school tells me “Waris paid the fees for Fazal for a few months but after that when he could not afford to, we sponsored him.” Fazal was a keen learner and adapted easily to the school.
As the years passed, Fazal went to school in the mornings and helped his father at the fruit stall in the afternoons. He often bought his books along and would do his homework there. “My colleagues at school would see me at the fruit stall,” he says. “Some of them were accepting of me, others didn’t want to study with the son of a fruit vendor.” He says. “In fact, there came a time, when some of my father’s regular clients stopped coming to our stall and we heard that they were telling people that my father could afford to send me to school because the fruit he sold were so expensive.”
In the years that followed, Fazal’s younger brother also joined school and continued in his footsteps. When the O level results were announced, Fazal received a scholarship at the Lyceum School. His parents were overjoyed, Waris Khan could see the years of hard work paying off.
“Years ago my father’s cousin’s wife had taunted him and told him that he would never amount to anything and that his children would also remain uneducated labourers,” Fazal tells me. “That really hurt my father to the core. When I got into A levels he felt vindicated!”
Fazal fit into Lyceum, playing sports, participating in extra curricular activities. He slowly made a few friends. “Even though I wore the same uniform as them, somehow they knew I wasn’t like them,” he says. But many of his classmates accepted him with open arms and helped him settle in. When the time came to apply for college — he didn’t even consider it an option given his financial constraints — until Adil and his mother who had been guiding him since his early school days encouraged him to.
And then a miracle happened … he got accepted with a partial scholarship to McGill University.
“I remember telling my father that I had been accepted at one of the best universities in Canada. I had gone to the his fruit stall to break the news to him, but I knew there was no way that I would be able to afford to go.” Fazal remembers that he had tears in his eyes and for the first time he felt helpless.
Aansoo is a 20-year-old student in the final stages of a bachelor's degree. She is the only person in this village with more than a smattering of education. Her mission is to change that: "I'll make these children doctors," she says. "I'll make them teachers and engineers."
The kids in Aansoo's cattle shed are from Pakistan's Hindu community — a marginalized, sometimes victimized, minority in an overwhelmingly Muslim nation. Their village has for centuries subsisted on the tiny income produced by picking cotton and green chilies for feudal landlords.
Energy is a critical element in our lives and positive developments are taking place in energy sector of Pakistan. Four to five years from now, our country will have a significant energy growth as many big projects are in the pipeline, said Syed Asad Ali Shah, former advisor finance, Sindh, on Tuesday.
“One of the greatest achievements of this government is to import LNG through LNG terminals, which have been completed laying down in March this year. LNG import is becoming streamlined. It will very much help redress energy crisis,” he said while speaking as a guest of honor in Conference on Entrepreneurial Engineering Opportunities in Renewable Energy for Self Sufficiency organized by College of Engineering Sciences, Institute of Business Management (IoBM).
He said apart from achievement in LNG sector, oil prices had also crashed which would boost overall production of the country. Shah said integration in energy sector was a much needed. All the companies working in silo should be controlled and monitored by one single body. “It is unfortunate thing that our country has been relying on imported fuel to generate electricity, while, our country is blessed with many resources and one of them is huge reserves of coal. I see positive development in Thar coal as Engro Corporation and Habib Bank Limited will be working on it,” he said.
He said hopefully, sanctions on Iran would be soon lifted and Iran-Pakistan (IP) Gas project would become reality. Prime minister of Pakistan has also discussed energy issue with Turkmenistan in his recent visit. We are generating 100mw electricity from wind corridors, which have the capacity of thousands mega watt. We also have great potential of solar energy if used properly,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Engro Vopak Terminal Limited Shaikh Imran Ul Haq delivered presentation on how Pakistan got LNG pipeline laid. How challenging it was in 335 days, “still Engro achieved this task”.“We are energy deficit country and importing LNG will provide us cheap alternative energy,” he said.
Senior Executive Director Osmani & Co Dr Akhtar said Europe and America had excelled in wind and PV solar energy as renewable energy, while coal, gas and oil are vanishing in those countries. Germany’s single largest energy production is solar and we were not getting benefit of this natural resource despite abundance of it in our country.
He said wind and PV solar energy should be used by choice rather than compulsion. Karachi was going to be dark in the smoke of pollution and electric vehicles were the solution for this.
Managing Director Systek (Pvt) Ltd Navid Ansari said energy gap is third world countries like Pakistan could not be overcome in near future. Solar energy could be immediate, affordable and abundant alternative source.
Member (Energy) of the Planning Commission, Ministry of
Planning, Development & Reforms, Syed Akhtar Ali said pricing on PV solar products should be lowered to promote the product. The government needed to lower duties on local production to make it viable.
Rector IoBM Talib Karim, Chairperson IEEE Dr Parkash Lohana, Ex-managing director Siemens Sohail Wajahat, Engineer, IEEEP, Irfan Ahmed,Dean Faculty of EECE MUET Dr Bhawani Shankar and HoD Public Affairs and Senior faculty IoBM Parvez Jamil were also present on the occasion.
Going from an inner-city slum to an Ivy League university is an incredible journey for anyone. But for a girl in Pakistan, a country where the female literacy rate is 38%, it is an almost unheard-of achievement.
Anum Fatima made international headlines when she won a summer scholarship to Harvard. She grew up in a Karachi slum but attended a school run by The Citizens Foundation (TCF), an education charity which has opened 1000 schools teaching more than 145,000 underprivileged children. TCF schools are built in deprived areas and are open to all faiths and ethnicities. They also focus on giving both girls and boys equal access to education - 46% of their pupils are female.
Now 23, Fatima was one of TCF’s first graduates. The daughter of a maid and a driver, she completed her undergraduate degree and has started a Masters Programme from CBM, a leading business school in Karachi, with a TCF scholarship. Fatima says: “I want to be the CEO of a leading company but before that I want to spend a few years at TCF to pay them back for all they have done for me."
Anum has given presentations on the challenges girls face
While she was delighted with the news that she would be jetting off to Massachusetts, her father had a slightly delayed reaction. Fatima said: “He had not heard of Harvard. When he went to work that day, he asked his boss, who told him what a tremendous achievement it was.”
Fatima came first in her class at the Harvard summer school. She says: “It was an advanced learning programme for English. There were 15 students from all over the world. I topped my class and received a certificate and a book signed by the Dean.”
During the three-month trip she also spoke at the US State Department and interned at a US-based think tank. She was able to give people an accurate description of the educational challenges in her country.
Fatima said: “People in the West think that girls in Pakistan are not allowed to study. In all of the presentations I made and all the people I talked to, I told them that parents wanted their girls to study but it was the lack of resources and awareness that held them back.”
The need for education to be made a priority in Pakistan is clear - 26 countries that are poorer than Pakistan send more children to primary school and one in 10 children worldwide who are not in primary school live in Pakistan. TCF believes its model is a Pakistani solution to a Pakistani problem.
Ateed Riaz, Co-Founder of The Citizens Foundation, said: “Everything related to education is a step forward; whether it is under a tree, in a garage or in a tent. However, we felt that since we ourselves are a product of formal education, we will build our institution along the same lines. We will create schools which are properly built, and not in a tent or basement. We were confident about our decision and there was never any hesitation or doubt regarding the path we had chosen.”
A kulfi seller from #IBA. #Sindh's poor village kid graduates from top management school in #Pakistan
According to Zulfiqar, students from rural Sindh usually go through a ‘zero semester’ at IBA Sukkur before their formal programme starts so they can be brought to the same level as other students. Two weeks before the finals of the zero semester, Zulfiqar’s brother, who was managing the shop in his absence, passed away. Zulfiqar thought of giving up his studies and going back to the shop. But his friends convinced him and his father otherwise. Around eight of his friends started depositing money in Zulfiqar’s account to support him every month, telling him that they had found an anonymous sponsor for him. Fortunately, Zulfiqar won an actual scholarship at IBA Sukkur soon after, which was able to fully support him.
Zulfiqar went on to become the vice-president of the student body at IBA Sukkur and flourished in his academics as well as extra-curricular activities. He even raised money for furniture, stationery and other resources to refurbish a school for street children near the university. After graduating from IBA Sukkur, he moved to Karachi for an internship and is currently looking for a job. His father recently asked him to approach the village wadera to help him find one but Zulfiqar refused. “I’ve only asked God for help all my life,” says Zulfiqar, his face beaming with confidence which comes from being a self-made man in the making. “I am the most educated man in my village today. Once I have enough resources, I’m going to open a school in my village. Why should I ask my wadera for help? If you believe in yourself and work hard, opportunities will knock on your door.”
Upwardly Mobile #Pakistan: #TCF & #IBA Alum Nadeem Hussain's rise from #Karachi slum to #WorldBank consultant. http://tribune.com.pk/story/1062613/extraordinary-pakistanis-nadeem-hussain/ … …
This is a moving story about a young man from a katchi abadi in Karachi, who graduated from IBA, Karachi despite his father working as a mazdoor in a wire factory for 35 years. Today, Nadeem Hussain works as a World Bank Technical Assistant to the Government of Sindh and after his office duties are over for the day, he helps children from katchi abadis secure admission into top tier universities like IBA, so they can experience the same life transformation that he did through the power of education. What’s even more striking about Nadeem’s story is that the daughter of the owner of the factory where Nadeem’s father works studied at IBA, at the same time as Nadeem.
“I’ve personally experienced how education removes the barriers of class and privilege,” shares Nadeem. “There was a time in my life when I went to the factory to help my dad sometimes. Later, when I secured admission into IBA, the owner of the factory was so proud that he hugged my father. My father was the proudest dad in the world at that time. Two years later, the daughter of the factory’s owner also got admitted into IBA and we actually took a course together. Now, I want other children from katchi abadis to have opportunities like this.”
Extraordinary Pakistanis: the mama and baby fund
“My father migrated to Karachi from Naushahro Feroze when I was a young boy,” shares Nadeem. “He started working in a wire factory and we got a house in a katchi abadi near the industrial area. There was no school in the area and I was an out of school child until The Citizens Foundation (TCF) opened up a campus in my area. My mother got me enrolled in grade four because she had studied till grade five and was able to teach me the Urdu alphabet on her own. I did my matric in 2007 and later applied for a fully funded National Talent Hunt Program (NTHP) scholarship in IBA. At IBA, I got the opportunity to visit the United States as part of an exchange programme and visited places like MIT, Harvard and the US Senate. In the US, I realised that no other child from my TCF school or katchi abadi would get the opportunity to see what I’m seeing unless I could help them in some way.”
In his senior year at IBA, Nadeem and a friend, Farheen Ghaffar, created the TCF Alumni Development Programme (ADP) together with a group of volunteers, to help TCF students find placements and funding for top tier universities like IBA, LUMS, NED, FAST-NU and Habib University. Here’s how their team works: first, the team collects data from TCF, of their graduates. These graduates are then educated about the different top tier universities and their programmes. For example, the application process to a top university is in itself so complicated and the application fee so high that it becomes a barrier to the application. The ADP’s team of volunteers mentor the TCF alumni and guide them through the application process while convincing university management to drop the application fees for such underprivileged children. Through their honest work and advocacy, Nadeem and team were able to convince Dr Ishrat Hussain at IBA to waive the application fees for all such students and recently, five students mentored by Nadeem’s team are successfully studying at IBA, fully funded by scholarships.
From Slums to Universities Abroad – 5 Most Inspirational Stories
Every once in a while, 1 out of the 23 – 32 million people living in slums in Pakistan, manages to surpass all the obstacles that come their way, to the extent that they break all barriers right to the very last…
1. MUHAMMAD SABIR
One such inspiration to all students, (regardless of their social background) is Muhammad Sabir, a 28 year old activist that is now running the organisation called ‘Slumabad’ that aims to focus on social issues like promoting education and hygiene in kids from slum areas, since these topics are of least importance in such places.
Having completed his schooling from City District Government Boys High School, Township Lahore and graduating from Pakistan’s Chartered Institute of Management Accountants by doing side jobs such as teaching tuition, Sabir was selected as a 2012 fellow for the Emerging Leaders of Pakistan (ELP) programme run by the Atlantic Council, a development program empowering future Pakistani leaders. For his training, Sabir was sent to United States of America. There he met with policymakers, civil society leaders and such, to help further his efforts in Pakistan.
2. ANUM FATIMA
From Ibrahim Goth, (a slum area in karachi) this TCF student has completed her B. A from CBM and is now being sent to Harvard Business School for a Summer Exchange Programme on a full scholarship.
3. SHAH FAISAL
Shah Faisal, is a dedicated student that lacks the funds for further education though he has managed to secure the first place in 12th grade (inter) exam’s all over Pakistan. Though this samosa vendor has appealed to be given a scholarship in Peshawar University’s System Engineering program, he hasn’t received confirmation as of yet.
4. HARAM ZULFIQAR ALI
A similar success story – a star student who managed to secure amazing grades in matric is the daughter of a vegetable seller. After school she and her sister sell vegetables with their father or manage their own ‘gola ganda’ stall. Be it power break downs or a shortage of gas, she lets nothing deter her from her aim of being the best. One day she wishes to gain admission into a medical college to pursue her family’s dream.
5. FAZAL WARIS KHAN
Son of a fruit seller with a vision; this man let nothing stand in his way to success and certainly did not let this label define him negatively. Instead, today he stands proud of having made it to where most people can only dream of being, a partial scholarship to McGill University, in Canada. Being funded by a good soul, Fazal graduated from one of the most reputable A level institutions in Karachi, again only on merit, and not on source. Today his brother is following his footsteps with many people supporting them in their efforts to improve their lives and those of their to -be families.
These are just a few cases that we know of. There are hundreds more that are only restricted by such circumstances that don’t allow them to excel beyond what they have been exposed to. We strongly believe, being granted the right opportunities does wonders for lifetimes to come. If anyone of you possesses the means to help not just these kids, but the likes of them, sponsoring their education is potentially the best way to not only secure the future generations of this nation, but also to give back to the society in which we spend such privileged lives.
In Lahore, Pakistan, parents with incomes of
less than 2,000 rupees per month spend 10–11
percent of their income on education, while
those with monthly incomes above 10,000
rupees spend 6 percent (Alderman et al.,
School Quality, School Cost, and the Public/Private School Choices
of Low-Income Households in Pakistan
Peter F. Orazemb
Elizabeth M. Patern
Given the deliberate concentration on low income neighborhoods, the
sample strategy identified a large number of low income households. Fifty-five percent of the
sampled children are in households earning less than 3,500 rupees ($100) per month,
corresponding to below $1 per person per day. Despite the low incomes, a surprisingly large
proportion of children is in school. Only 11 percent of the boys and 8 percent of the girls aged
6-10 were not enrolled. However, the probability of withholding a child from school drops
rapidly as income rises. The lowest income households withheld 25 percent of their boys and 21
percent of their girls from school. In contrast, almost all children in households earning above
Rs 3500 are in school.
Not only is enrollment high, a high share of children is enrolled in private schools, even
children from the poorest families. Only in the poorest category in table 1 is the share of
children in government schools greater than in private schools, and then only barely so. As
household income increases, the share of children in private school increases dramatically.
Similar findings of extensive use of private schools by poor families in Karachi (Kardar 1995).
The high proportion of children in private schools is even more surprising, given the
share of household income that must be sacrificed. Even though the amount spent per child rises
with income, the share of income spent declines. In addition, for the lowest income households,
the difference in expenses between private and government schools is not large. While the fees
for private schools exceed that for public (indeed, most public schools are free) government
schools charge for uniforms, books and supplies. Operating costs of private schools are relatively
low, despite relatively higher teacher pupil ratios, due to lower salary structures. Overall, many
private schools can compete with government schools on total schooling costs. The survey
verified these costs by interviewing staff and managers.
2014 World Bank report on private schools in Pakistan by Quynh Nguyen & Dushyanth Raju:
Using school census data from 1999/2000, Andrabi, Das, and Khwaja (2008) found that
the majority of Pakistan’s roughly 36,000 private schools were established in the 1990s and were
at the primary level (up to grade 5). The rural share of private schools established in each year
was at least as large as the urban share. Furthermore, the vast majority of private schools
established in the 1980s and 90s reported that they were for-profit. Using school census data
from 2007/08, I-SAPS (2010) determined that the number of private schools has since doubled to
70,000, with particularly strong growth in schools at the middle and high levels in both rural and
urban areas. Using multiple rounds of household sample survey data, Andrabi et al. also found
that the private school share of enrollment rose markedly over the 1990s for both rich and poor
households and urban and rural households, and rose more in the provinces of Punjab and
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) than in Sindh and Balochistan. Over this same period, the
government school system—the dominant provider of schooling in terms of the number of
institutions and share of enrollment—has seen its position steadily erode, particularly in urban
areas and in the rural parts of Punjab and KP provinces. This has occurred despite the fact that
government schools are ostensibly free for the user, while private schools typically charge fees.
School fees are generally low enough that poor households manage to pay
them. For example, Andrabi et al. (2008) find that average tuition fees constitute around 2
percent of the average household income in both rural and urban areas.
The picture remains roughly the same for children in the 11 to 15 age group. One-third of
these children are not in school. Specifically, 12 percent of children have dropped out, whereas
22 percent have never gone to school. Forty-six percent are in government school. Eighteen
percent are in private school, which is a few percentage points lower than the corresponding rate
for the six to 10 age group. Again, given the sizeable share of children that are not in school, the
private school participation rate of 18 percent translates into a private school share of enrollment
of 27 percent.
From Ibrahim Hyderi Fishing Village Near #Karachi to U of Michigan, there’s no stopping this #TCF alumna. #Pakistan
Iqra Saleem is no ordinary girl — the first person to attend Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) from her fishing village — Saleem has just returned from an exchange programme in the United States and aspires to work in the public sector to give back to the society.
Saleem, a resident of Karachi’s Ibrahim Hyderi, said her school had played a pivotal role in shaping her life. With no educational institution in the disadvantaged neighbourhood, Saleem said it was her good fortune that The Citizens Foundation (TCF) decided to build a campus in the area.
Student by day and tailor by night, Saleem strived hard. That is what she said took her where she is today. “I believe everyone can achieve their dreams with hard work and consistency,” Saleem said.
After acing her matric and intermediate exams, Saleem set her eyes on the LUMS scholarship programme. With the help of mentors from TCF-Alumni Development Programme, Saleem prepared for the university admission test and was eventually awarded a full-merit scholarship to study at LUMS’ Suleman Dawood School of Business.
“I don’t think I would have had a future if there was no TCF in Ibrahim Goth. I might have remained unaware of what I could achieve like many out-of-school children. I would have never realised my dream for higher education without the support of my mentors,” Saleem said.
For the young who lead challenging lives Saleem said, “Always dream high and never give up. “No one gets anywhere without hard work. Some people just have to struggle more.”
Saleem’s urged the privileged to help the less fortunate. “Never settle for less. Help others if you come across opportunities. Scores of children still remain out of school and and they have little idea of what they are missing out on,” she emphasised.
Having just returned from Michigan after studying a semester at Saginaw Valley State University on scholarship, Saleem said she wanted to attend graduate school abroad before returning to work in the public sector.
“I want to particularly deal with education as it is something very near to my heart. I want to devote my time and money to revamp the sector to such an extent that exclusive access to education becomes a thing of the past,” Saleem said.
Amjad Ali, #Karachi rickshaw driver, father of six daughters sending them all to school in #Pakistan. One of his daughter Muskan just won a scholarship to study at top #business school. #education #highereducation https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=2019062115073239
In a country where many women are still discouraged from getting an education and are married off early, Amjad Ali, a father of six daughters, and a rickshaw driver, has broken the mould by sending his daughters to Karachi’s leading universities, reports Samaa TV.
“People often mocked and criticised me, saying that girls are bound to get married and move out and to stop wasting my hard-earned money on my daughters,” he said.
But one of his daughters, Muskan, recently received a scholarship from the Institute of Business Administration, which is one of the top business schools in the country. “It was one of the happiest days of my life,” he said. “Be it a son or a daughter, the right to education is equal for all,” he believes.
'Never imagined beyond my neighborhood': Taunton senior's journey from Haripur, #Pakistan to #Cornell. Spoke Urdu & Hindko but she was able to pick up English pretty quickly, becoming comfortable with it within her first year in #NewJersey https://www.tauntongazette.com/story/news/education/2021/05/11/taunton-high-school-senior-study-computer-science-cornell-mahnoor-abbas/4967683001/ via @tauntontogo
Taunton High School senior MahNoor Abbas and her family immigrated to the United States from Pakistan to have access to better opportunities.
In September, 17-year-old Abbas will achieve that goal, attending Cornell University to study computer science.
"I never imagined beyond my neighborhood," she said. "But now I'm excited to be going. My family made sacrifices so I could do this, and it's paying off."
Abbas, grew up in a small town in Pakistan outside Haripur. In 2006, when she was still a small child, her father and two of her siblings moved to the U.S.
Abbas's family expected her mother, herself and two other siblings to be able to join them a year or so after her father immigrated, but because of the U.S. immigration system, they ended up waiting 10 years before being allowed to immigrate.
"[My mother] was the one there taking care of us and making sure we took advantage of better opportunities," she said.
One of those opportunities was moving from a public to private school, which Abbas was able to do in the fourth grade.
Finally, during Abbas's eighth grade year, she, her mother and her siblings joined her father in Taunton.
While Abbas was grateful to have her family united, moving to America was no cake walk. She said she quickly realized that the social norms were very different.
"People were much less concerned with doing things for others and their community," she said. "It was much more individualistic, like people were focused on getting ahead in terms of their own success."
At first, Abbas encountered a language barrier, but already speaking two other languages — Urdu and Hindko — she was able to pick up English pretty quickly, becoming comfortable with it within her first year in Taunton.
Abbas also encountered discrimination due to being Muslim, such as other high schoolers questioning whether it is a privilege or a right for her to wear a hijab in school.
Another issue has been people associating her religion with terrorism.
"People think it's ok to call it 'Islamic terrorism' — that's something I've had to correct people on," she said. "I don't think [terrorism] is something that should be associated with my religion. Those men think they are following the religion, but they aren't."
NETSOL’s Education Support Program Touching Lives
NETSOL’s Education Support Program (NESP) has proved to be a huge success after the company reported that it has hired 3 ambitious women who were the daughters of security guards working at NETSOL.
NETSOL has been actively involved in contributing to the education sector. The company has been recognized for its NESTOL Education Support Program (NESP) by PASHA Awards in 2019. The NESP Program is specifically designed to provide support to the children of underprivileged employees. The program covers almost 500 children who are working in NETSOL’s “Admin Support Function”. Moreover, the company makes sure that the children attend english-medium schools only. The students enrolled in the program can gain access to quality education from schools located all over Pakistan.
NETSOL’s effort to contribute to society has indeed bore fruit with the exciting news that three young females who are daughters of security guards have been hired in NETSOL’s IT department. The company stands true to its vision:
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