The communities, community development volunteers, children and school teachers were very happy on opening GRACE-INDUS Public School at Bhagal Chak 279 TDA in district Layyah. GRACE Association, Pakistan is supporting Indus Development Society (local organization in Layyah) for running Grace Indus Public School to provide schooling to children at Bhagal Chak 279 and surrounding villages. The school was renovated recently and has been opened after summer vacations.
On Friday, August 5, 2011, Khadim Hussain, Founder and Chief Executive of GRACE Association, visited Layyah and met with students, teachers and school management committee. Featuring a renovated new school building with two floors, 8 classrooms, and an under construction school office, the school is providing primary education opportunity in the morning shift. Presently there are 170 girl and boy students and 8 female teachers are serving the school dedicatedly.
The GRACE initiative of providing basic education to children especially for females has been welcomed by the learnt community members and the Indus Development Society. This is worthy to mention here that in many villages girls are denied to access for education. The Government education department is the major educational services provider but with very limited resources.
Schools in Layyah lack basic facilities including classrooms, boundary walls, safe drinking water, latrines and furniture, etc. Girls are denied to have a right of basic education in many villages due to poor understanding of the value of women's education and rights. Lack of development of teaching practices is another critical problem; teachers are deprived of support and supervision from line departments and rarely get professional development opportunities. The results are manifested in gender insensitive behavior and an environment that is adverse for children.
Responding the application from Layyah community through Indus Development Society, GRACE Association is going to address these issues in collaborations with local communities for improving their socioeconomic conditions. The Grace Indus Public School is the first initiative in this regard. We look forward to work for community empowerment through improved quality of education in public and private schools in Layyah district. The issues can be addressed by enhancing participation rates of disadvantaged communities and minorities, especially girls, via community activities such as reestablishment and capacity building of school councils, health and hygiene campaigns, formation of girls clubs, curricular/extracurricular events; drawing, sports, speech and debate competitions and community led advocacy and lobbying activities. GRACE Association is working to develop a partnership with USAID Pakistan and local education authorities to address aforementioned issues facing by the children especially females.
GRACE endeavours to empower and improve the quality of life of the marginalized and vulnerable communities in the least developed parts of Pakistan through welfare, participatory research and development, capacity building, promotion of best practices and partnership building, advocacy, and by launching sustainable and replicable innovative projects.