At 18 per cent, Tharparkar has the lowest literacy rate in Pakistan. Despite the odds, some organisations, such as the Skill Enhancing and Research Home of the Children (Search), are trying to bring the figure closer to the Millennium Development Goal. Search is currently working on their model project, the South City School (SCS). On April 14, the school’s junior section held its annual results announcement function.
“There is lot of talent in Thari children,” said Search executive director Partab Shivani. “Many students from this school have gone on to take part in national and international level activities.” One tenth-grader, Shubham Kamani, has even been selected by a foreign NGO, Youth Exchange and Study Programme, and is going to the US for a year, he added.
“Sixty per cent of the people from this area migrate towards areas with a better water supply,” said the National Commission for Human Development district general manager, Ashok Azam. He explained that the ones who remain suffer from illiteracy and a lack of awareness.
At the ceremony, students performed skits about childhood marriage, corporal punishment and other child rights issues. Awards and shields were distributed to students and members of institutions involved, including Search, the Sindh Education Foundation, the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Children and the Aga Khan.
Madan Lal was named best parent, Sarmad best prefect and Man Mohan Singh was the ‘Star of the Year’.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2011.