Over the last few months, students in the UK have been up in arms about the prospect of paying for their University education, which they feel should be free. They argue that the level of the fees means that only the most advantaged people will be able to study.
In some countries of the world, the prospect of fees doesn’t just deter University students, but also children of primary school age. In Pakistan, for instance, the average annual wage is just over £1000, life is a struggle and education, particularly of girls, is often seen as a luxury rather than an essential.
Yet education is widely seen as the key that will unlock the shackles of poverty. Those with a good basic education can earn more, stay healthier and live longer. They contribute more to their society and improve life for many others.
In 2009, World In need opened the Community Free School in Islamabad. Unlike most schools in Pakistan, our students pay no fees, which means that children are able to come whatever their parents’ income and background. The education they receive is monitored by both the State and National Boards of Education, thus assuring parents of its quality, and consequently our children are able to dream of a brighter and better future.
The school catered for seventy pupils but recently had to expand to admit another thirty, because parents came, begging us to give their children a chance at a better life. We explained that we didn’t have enough desks but the parents were undeterred. They would be happy for their children to sit and work on the floor rather than not come to school.
We believe children in the developing world deserve the same opportunities as children in more prosperous countries, and a chance to climb out of the poverty that has overwhelmed their families. We have therefore taken these extra children into the school. Now we are working to provide them with the desks they need. A desk for two costs £20, which means we are currently trying to raise £300 for this project.
If you would like to know more about the school, or would like to help, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us on 01892 669834.