Nilore Science Lab
ADP is funding a Science lab at Nilore Junior School, located about 45 minutes outside Islamabad. ADP’s funds will support the cost of equipment for the lab as well as the Science teacher’s salary for the first year.
The Science lab will be used for teaching Physics, Chemistry and Biology through experiments to students in Grades 6-10 (up to the Matric level). The experiments will be specifically customized for the appropriate grade level in keeping with the requirements of the Matric curriculum. In addition, the learning experience will be augmented by the inclusion of interesting experiments not found in the official Matric Science curriculum, in order to arouse curiosity among students. Based on prior experience, ADP was able to help Ibtida determine the equipment required for the lab. Ibtida will continue to fund the teacher’s salary and maintain the lab after the first year of funding.
Setting up a science lab at Nilore is crucial to promoting concept-based science teaching. Empirical learning takes students away from rote-memorization, prevalent in schools without science labs. To promote concept-based teaching throughout its curriculum, Nilore is in the process of getting affiliated with the Aga Khan University (AKU) board. The AKU board provides teacher training and materials for concept-based teaching in addition to computerized and diagnostic testing.
- Exposing ~60 students per year in Nilore Public School to concept-based and experimental science teaching methods
- Student and teacher surveys to determine the impact of the lab (frequency of use, observed benefits, problems)
- Matric examination (Science) results
Ibtida is a volunteer-based, non-profit organization working to provide quality education to underprivileged children in the rural areas of Pakistan. It was started in 2003 by a group of individuals who believed that the only way to break the vicious cycle of poverty and ignorance was through education. In addition to the Junior School in Nilore, Ibtida’s current projects include Kohisar Junior Model School, Landi Arbab Primary School and the setting up of centers for women in NWFP. Ibtida has also adopted three girls schools in rural Sindh. Ibtida has no religious or political affiliations.
Girls in Science Lab
Ibtida: Providing quality education to the underprivileged
Q. How will current ADP funds be utilized? What is the existing financial structure of Nilore and how will the lab be sustained?
A. Initial capital of $2900 required for teachers salary, equipment, tables & stools during the first year. School will fund teacher’s salary after the first year. School’s operating budget is currently $7000/year and Ibtida fundraises for most of its projects in the U.S. Students pay a minimal fee of $1-$2/month on a sliding scale. Ibtida’s past record with fundraising has been great and they have been able to raise funds to meet their needs each year so we are confident that they will be able to maintain the lab.
Q. What equipment will be set up in the lab and how was this list determined? A. Nilore Public School provided an initial list of equipment and ADP worked with them to determine itemized cost and refine the equipment list based on prior experience of volunteers and teachers in setting up science labs.
Q. How credible is the organization?
A. ADP has worked with Ibtida in the past. The computer project at Nilore was the first project ADP funded and it was met with success. In our interactions, Ibtida seemed very responsive and is extremely interested in seeing the project through. A site-visit was also conducted to determine suitable lab space.
Q. Is it possible for Ibtida to fund the teacher’s salary for the first year (and have ADP fund the equipment)?
A. In a worst case scenario they would be able to fund a teacher. The funding would be taken out of next year’s budget. Having a science teacher is critical to the success of the lab. Personally, we’d argue that it is the most important component. So ideally we wouldn’t want to put the school in a position where they have to decide who to fund. The teacher’s salary is Rs. 6700/month+1300/month (for additional services such as labs).
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