Primary education: From 50 students to 134 schools, Baithak’s success

Published: January 7, 2012

In two years 57 schools were established in areas where there were no government primary schools.

KARACHI: What started off as a one-room school with 50 students in 1996 in Manzoor Colony, has grown into a network of 134 schools all over the country. The Baithak School Network, a flagship project of the Society of Educational Welfare (SEW), now caters to the primary education of more than 13,000 underprivileged children.

On Friday, a ceremony was held at Hotel Regent Plaza to pay a tribute to the volunteers, mostly women, who had made the project a huge success. “We came up with the idea when a couple of us, friends, were about to graduate from the University of Karachi,” said SEW president Tayyaba Atif. “After thinking about it in detail we decided to set up a school in a neighbourhood and teach for free.” She added that since there were no schools in the area then, Atif and her friends managed to gather around 50 students.

Although they had no intention of expanding the project, according to Atif, the positive feedback helped gather resources and finances. “In two years we successfully established 57 schools in areas where there were no government primary schools,” said Munazza Suharwardy, Atif’s colleague. “In 2000, we felt the need to register as a non-profit organisation and since then the SEW has sheltered this network of schools.”

According to SEW’s communication manager Noryn Ali, in order to make their community schools sustainable, they hire teachers from the low-income neighbourhoods the school is in.

The principal of one of the network’s schools, Zeenat Karim, was also there. While talking to The Express Tribune, she said that she was also from a low-income background but was made a part of this project by the principal of the school in Azeem Goth. She said that after she finished her primary education, the principal told her to go to the government secondary school and continue studying. Karim is now the principal of the same school where she studied as a primary school student.

The children performed a play on Allama Iqbal’s poem ‘Jugnoo’. The volunteers were presented with certificates of appreciations and awards by the chief guest, Arif Habib, the chairman of the Arif Habib Group.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 7th, 2012.

Reader Comments (10)

  • usman
    Jan 7, 2012 - 9:17PM

    Who cares about ur good works????
    we don’t deserve u…..for god sake stop trying to save us….:(Recommend

  • USMANm
    Jan 7, 2012 - 9:43PM

    You are better pakistani than I. I salute you volunteers and workers.

    Recommend

  • Khan Bhai
    Jan 7, 2012 - 10:47PM

    Only way out for Pakistan is education.

    Thank you volunteers, you are an inspiration to us all. By publishing these stories Tribune you allow people to help the right organizations so they can continue their good work. I will be the first to donate to SEW!

    Recommend

  • antanu g
    Jan 7, 2012 - 11:08PM

    and people think pakistan is all about terrorism….extremism…corruption.

    Recommend

  • antanu g
    Jan 7, 2012 - 11:09PM

    @usman:
    with people like you…pakistan is destined to be doomed.

    Recommend

  • usman
    Jan 8, 2012 - 8:35AM

    @antanu g:
    brother my comment was the painful reaction to my nations deeds….whoever do good to us we dont pay them back….and i dont wanted to say but we have been donating for SEW ….so i guess u got it…..

    Recommend

  • usman
    Jan 8, 2012 - 8:40AM

    @Khan Bhai:
    this is a project of Jamat Islami…how about with donating money we also give them our precious votes so they get in government and they can do it on much higher level….with more facilities….JI have a lot of this kind of projects…..
    Ghazali educational trust
    Agosh orphanage
    Al khidmat foundation[working in every field]

    there is no other political party which is doing so much social welfare….and is not even in government….and care about normal people….i hope i made my point….JAZAKALLAH

    Recommend

  • usman
    Jan 8, 2012 - 1:00PM

    this is a project of Jamat islami…so how about with dnating money we also give them our votes so they can do it on bigger level….Jazakallah

    Recommend

  • Fasih
    Jan 9, 2012 - 11:29AM

    salute to jamaat e islami. my donation and vote goes to JI

    Recommend

  • Ali Khan
    Jan 10, 2012 - 5:28PM

    Good Work SEW & Jamaat e Islami…

    Recommend

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