Since 2010,ASER has strivedto improve the status of education nationwide. Each year after a gruelling process of conducting assessments and data compilation, ASER Pakistan produces a reliable set of data about what our children are learning.Being a part of this journey since the last 4 years, I have come across many families, children and teachers who have been positively affected by ASER with its ability to reach out to communities.
This year, while monitoring the Quetta rural and urban survey; I met a woman namedFeroza who was from Afghanistan. Feroza is uneducated and has 5 children at home to support hence she worksfor different households to make the ends meet.Her eldest daughter has never been enrolled in a school and yet to our surprise shewas able to read out English words. She also read Urdu letterseasily and her recognition of numbers 1-99 was remarkable. When I inquired fromher about how she learned to read, I got to know that she learned from the neighbor’s child. After seeing her daughter perform well, Feroza decided to send her to an Academy nearby. Feroza is also ready to enroll her younger children at aschool. She enthusiastically said that I might have spent my life in a miserable condition because I could not receive education; however, I will not let my daughters face the hardships that I had to face.
One other case study that must be shared is about a 13 years old girl named Gulnaz, who was a dropout from class 2. When the ASER team conducted her assessment, we realized that she is very intelligent. Upon asking her parents the reason why she left school,we were told that due to poverty they are unable to send her to school. Utilizing our skills of counseling, we convinced them to send Gulnaz to school for her better future and self-development. I discussed Gulnaz’s case with my Dubai Care project team and they assisted her in getting an admission. Based on her assessment results, Gulnaz is now admitted in class 3 and is extremely thankful for our support.
Such stories ignite the hope in me that ASER survey findings and recommendations should be taken into consideration by the government,education departments and relevant stake holders to take action for our education system, accordingly.