Amir Public School
ADP is funding the construction of a classroom for preschool students in Amir Public School (APS), located in Kalaske, a village in the Gujranwala District. The primary objective of the project is to accommodate the rising demand for pre-school education in the village, as applications to the school exceed its capacity. ADP’s funding also covers the salary for a new teacher, an assistant, as well as the cost of teacher training sessions. Currently APS has six class rooms starting from Prep, including the first grade, up to the fifth grade. APS is a project of Nia Ujala (New Light), a registered nonprofit with expertise in education.
Kalaske is situated in Teh Wazirabadon on the Alipur Chatha road about 15 km (10 miles) west of the Gujranwala City, in the province of Punjab. With a population of around 35,000, most residents fall in the category of low income families. Lack of ample monetary resources forces the parents to deprive their children of basic education and send them to work. This has contributed to the culmination of a serious issue in the area; child labor. Amir Public School aims to provide quality education to facilitate students to have an equal opportunity and develop to their full potential.
The school has been running for the last thirty years and all educational related facilities are provided free of cost to the children; the Association for the Development of Pakistan is funding its expansion by contributing Rs. 598,000. The project includes a one-time capital expense of Rs. 290, 000. This covers the construction of one, large class room along with installation of windows/doors fittings; electrical appliances; paint job and furniture for the 40 students.
Nia Ujala was registered specifically to support Amir Public School, which was established in 1980. The idea was to enable the board members to present the school as an organized and non-profit making organization when seeking donations from individuals and different NGOs. The staff is divided between board members and officers residing both inside and outside Pakistan; interestingly, one of the executive board members,Amir Davis, studied in the school himself when it was originally created.
The short term key metrics will include an assessment of the number of student enrollments. In addition, the profile of the students will be examined to determine their age, gender and SEC classification. It will be ensured that the students who are admitted to the school match the originally targeted students’ profile.
The long term impact that will be sought will include an examination in the reduction in the incidences of child labor. This will be gauged by tracking the number of children working over a span of few years.
Research into pre-school education showed that it has long term economic and social benefits in terms of higher employment and lower crime. It has been shown to help create a desire for success and inculcates behavior conducive to learning in grades after pre-school, and is thus one of the most critical stages of a person`s life.
Critical need: The need to set up a new classroom, which can provide space for 40 more students, stems from the issue of child labor prevalent in the area. Lack of education awareness is forcing parents to divert their mentality in engaging their children towards manual labor.
Social return: Primary education has proven to have the greatest impact on a person’s life. Providing education at the nascent age can help guide children who may develop the capacity to make an informative career choice.
Measurability: The enrollment patterns and profile details of the students, are both measurable and controllable (i.e. gender mix, age group, income profile).
Sustainability: The school runs on donations collected by the NGO. Thus, the school demanded non-recurring capital to bear the construction and setup costs alone.
Can the cost of building go down?
The cost can go down only if the construction or furniture standards are compromised. An example can be of roof installation of wood rather than cemented roof (which has the potential to accommodate another room on top, in case the school chooses to expand into a high school).
What is the profile of APS graduates?
APS has given basic education to more than 2000 students up to present date. Many of these students are engineers, doctors and army/police officers today. APS has played its role very well to build the basic foundation for them, in accordance with the limited scope of a primary school.
Will the school need to hire an extra teacher for the class?
Yes, APS will need a new teacher. The cost of an additional teacher for the new class will be covered by ADP’s grant.
How many paid staff does APS have?
APS has 7 staff members enrolled on a payroll; 6 teachers and 1 caretaker.
Are the staff in the NGO paid a salary?
None of the other individuals other than the aforementioned staff members take salary. The individuals involved work on volunteer basis.
The Amir Public School project has officially reached completion. A detailed report about the last phase of the project can be read here. The update also contains a great video of Amir Davis receiving the Azm Awards 2012!
This wonderful clip from Amir Public School will make you smile! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5Pi0HjxVlk
This is the first batch of 3-4 year old children enrolled in the school. They can now recite some poetry and have learned basic counting and vocabulary (body parts, animals and fruits). It is noteworthy that the parents of most of these children are also uneducated, so there is very little learning that takes place at home.
The second training session for Amir Public School, scheduled for December, had to be postponed to January due to trainer unavailability.
Since last July, APS has had some set backs but made the most out of them. The heavy rains of the monsoon season damaged the School’s administrative building, the walls cracked and water leaked from the roof. In August, APS demolished this building and reconstructed it. August was also the month when a beautiful tiled floor was laid down in the school’s courtyard. Pictures and more information can be found in the Monthly Report by APS here.
Also, as everything is going according to plan, APS has asked for the release of the second phase of funding from ADP of amount Rs. 34,000. More can be found about the financial aspects in APS’s first Yearly Financial Report.
Amir Public School has also reported that the first 3-day training program for teachers was conducted in the last week of July and covered a variety of themes, including strategies for maintaining classroom discipline, learning to distinguish between different kinds of students, lesson planning and vocabulary building. The teachers were trained by a specially hired instructor, who also left a number of recommendations that the APS has begun to implement. For further details, please visit the update post on Dastak.
Amir Davis, Chair of Amir Public School recently sent Association for the Development of Pakistan a confirmation of received funds. He also reported that the rooms are fully furnished at this point. More information regarding progress on this project can be found on the Amir Public School Update Page and new photos can be found in our Facebook Photo Gallery.
APS has reported that construction is well underway and that the roof will be completed soon. APS has also started the recruiting process for teachers and is planning for training sessions to be held in April.
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