Jawad opens non-formal schools in Kasur
By Waqar Gillani
CHUNIAN/KASUR: “We are proud to work for the poor children of our area by teaching them in our informal schools and the campaign started to register them is laudable,” said a young teacher in one of 10 schools opened on Sunday by singer Jawad Ahmad’s Taleem For All (TFA) trust.
A number of dignitaries from Lahore, Mr Ahmad’s family members, locals and students attended the launching ceremony held at Satluj Ground. The city was colourfully decorated with TFA posters inviting the community to join its mission to make Pakistan progressive and prosperous by imparting education to all. A tableau presented by local artists, invited the children to learn and welcomed people like Mr Ahmad promoting education in remote areas.
The teacher, who belongs to Kasur district’s Chunian tehsil, told Daily Times that the 10 schools opened in the city and its suburbs would help the poor get their children educated. He said the dropout ratio in the public and private schools in the area was increasing. He said that his colleagues were trained to speak and behave with students, their parents and society to make the TFA schools a success.
Mr Ahmad announced his mission to open the schools last year and Sunday was when his dream to “educate the poor and seek talent in backward areas” was realised. Speaking at the ceremony Mr Ahmad said, “This is just a beginning and centres of excellence will be opened to train the teachers and students from the rural areas of Punjab.
The people of Pakistan are keen to prosper, but their spirit needs to be channelled through proper leadership. We will nurture talent to make Pakistan strong.”
He appealed to the public to help him impart education to the poor, whose voice remained unheard. Speaking on the occasion, former Water And Power Development Authority chairman, Lt General (r) Zulfiqar Ali Khan said that TFA was an alternative system of education to create new leadership. “It is a new experience and such plans will help Pakistan deal with future challenges,” he said.
Senator Muhammad Ali Durrani, who was also there, said promoting literacy and imparting free education would help eliminate poverty, corruption, dictatorship and crime. “We have to promote literacy in backward areas to give rights, respect, voice and honour to the people of Pakistan.” He said the TFA would help bring justice to the poor.
“The governments and the upper classes do not want to impart education at the grass-roots level as this will threaten their authority,” he said.
Chunian Nazim Rana Saeed Akhtar said his administration welcomed people like Mr Ahmad who promoted literacy in the area. He offered his full cooperation to the TFA. The Executive District Officer for Literacy of the area, Aslam Shad, said a recent United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) survey portrayed a grim picture of literacy in the district. “Around 100,000 children of the district are unable to get education from any type of school,” he quoted from the UNICEF survey. “The government is unable to build 1,200 schools in the district to fill this gap.”
TFA Secretary Yasser Majid Siddiqqi said they planned to build around 100 schools in the district. He also said that a big training centre would be established in Lahore for teachers.
He said the informal schools in the city and some villages would give 30 students in each school books, stationary and other necessities free of cost. “Most schools have been opened in poor areas in rented rooms. At some places, people donated rooms for the class,” he said.
The TFA schools have been opened in Bhagapur, Farooqabad, Zafar Town, Muhallah Janazgah, Muhallah Mana Wala, Alnoor Colony and other places.