We visited the street school on the plot next to cafe Clifton last week and met the wonderful brother and sister Hasan and Shireen who are both school going teenagers themselves. The siblings live in apartments nearby and right now teach more than 58 regular street kids of the area who are there begging or selling flowers and tissue papers on the traffic signals of the streets of DHA.
The children are taught for two hours daily from 4:30 pm to 6 pm for six days a week. The school ends with the national anthem recitation daily. They teach basics starting from Alphabets, Counting/Numbers and Urdu. Lately they are helped by four other teachers to give students basic education. They also have PE classes on Friday in which they play games and exercise. It’s such an impressive step by the young siblings of age 12 and 15.
It’s an act which people who are older, wiser and with so much more power/ money are not able to achieve. But you know how they say “when there’s a will, there’s always a way!”
While talking to us Shireen told “We are expanding day by day and we do intend on opening more branches once we have the required funds”.
Hasan told us that right now they run the school on their own expense, from their own pockets and through the support of some friends and extended family. The kids are being taught the same curriculum as the one that they have studied in their own school which is based on the O’level system of education.
Hasan also mentioned about the background these children come from. He said that 25% of these children did not have parents. Some of them have ran away from their houses and now live on streets while others have been told to leave the house. A lot of parents refused to send their children as well, saying that they are bringing money in the house and we can’t afford for them to study. Hence they agreed to send their children if the kids were given 50rs each every day.
As for funds, some people have started helping them by providing juice boxes to the children along with providing a daily stipend of Rs50 to keep these children motivated. But there is major need of monetary support as the school is solely running through the family’s own pocket or close people. They need volunteers as well.
Ajid Alam, one of the duo’s oldest students, regularly comes from Neelum Colony to attend the street school and has also enrolled his younger brother now. “I enjoy my time here a lot because they also make us exercise and play with our friends besides studying,” said Alam excitedly.
“I want to study and become educated like all other people but my family cannot afford it,” said six-year-old Sidratul Muntaha, who has regularly been attending classes for the last four months. Her father works as a labourer and she feels proud when she can read some English alphabets to him, she shared.
The siblings expressed how initially there was only one table and two kids and but as children kept showing interest and coming they had to expand. “We didn’t expect such a response. It was priceless, nonetheless”.
What we need to see here is that the two siblings at a very young age have stepped in where the state has failed to support the underprivileged. The cause is huge and the power of education has more impact than we realise. We must help them out and take a step towards funding the cause as this could lead to a more educated city and better upcoming generations. If you are willing to help them, contact them through their Facebook page: