This year ASER gave me the chance to conduct training in the district of Multan along with my colleague Huma Zia, Assistant Manager, ASER. I was very excited to deliver my session as this was the first time I was presenting in front of our district partners from South Punjab. As we started our training, we told them about ASER Pakistan and how the report is compiled and prepared. The session was based on a detailed account of how the survey is conducted; the assessment tools used and how the data is collected.
On the second day of the training, we took the participants to a village near Multan as per the plan. The participants were divided into two groups and each group was led by a leader. I was designated as the leader of one of the groups. As a team, we first visited a government high school which had two sections; one was primary section and the other was high section. I was asked to collect data from primary section with my group. Upon entering the school, we saw some children sitting on a mat on the floor while some of them sat in classrooms on benches. After greeting the children, we sat with them on the floor.
When the teacher saw us interacting with the children, she came to us and asked us why we were there. I informed her that we represent ASER Pakistan and that we wish to conduct a survey at their school which will allow us to gauge the quality of education by assessing the learning levels of children. The teacher was very pleased to hear why we were there. She immediately called her students to gather around us so we could assess them. She was also very excited to learn more about the learning levels of her students. When her students performed well, the teacher shared that she gives the children additional classes in the evening (after school) without any fee, to help improve their performance. She also told us that it was her dream to get higher education after intermediate but being a girl she wasn’t allowed to move to the city by her parents. She was now attempting to fulfill her dream through her students.
While talking to her, I inquired from her that how could the children learn without the proper environment or facilities. She replied that facilities are certainly important but the most important element in the learning of a child is the teacher. The way a teacher communicates with the students determines the learning path of the child. We finished our work, thanked her for her cooperation and left. However, her dedication and commitment towards her students kept me thinking for days to come and also made me feel proud of the work I was doing.