Sughra from Pakistan: Embracing Education in COVID-19
In pursuance of Pakistan’s Federal Government decision to combat Covid-19, the Government of Balochistan province has also shut down all schools across the province until further notice. This also includes district Jaffarabad, where 280 schools are being funded under UNESCO’s Girls’ Right to Education Programme (GREP). In such testing times, when the world is taken aback by this invisible pandemic, Sughra is working wonders while continuing her education, teaching her siblings, and became a torchbearer for others. She is a 12-year-old girl, a Grade-5 student in the Government Girls High School (GGHS) Rojhan Jamali in the district of Jaffarabad.
Sughra (in white shawl) is exchaning pleasantries with her friend
Even before UNESCO's Girls Right to Education Programme GREP's inception at her village, Sughra was known as a brilliant student, someone full of energy and ever ready to help others. Due to her caring nature, she was nominated as the President of her school’s Child Club. The formation of Child Clubs is a regular feature of all GREP project schools. Because of the school closure, Sughra contacted the UNESCO Project Team through the Parent Teachers School Management Committees (PTSMCs) seeking assistance to continue her education with her siblings at home. To encourage Sughra’s novel home learning initiative, UNESCO’s team instantly reached out to her, providing 80 storybooks, hand sanitizers, and soap. Sughra was trained to maintain social distancing and adopt other precautionary measures to remain protected from COVID-19 while learning from home.
Brave Sughra is showing a safety brochure of COVID-19 to her siblings
Sughra teaches her brother proper handwashing as a preventive measure in the COVID-19
Building on Sughra’s initiative, students’ child clubs with the help of local volunteer teachers have established eight such centres in nearby villages. While emulating the same practice, Balochistan Secondary Education Department has implemented an initiative called Mera Ghar, Mera School (My Home, My School) and established it in 738 homes. The commencement of home-based learning centres by the Government, parents, teachers, and PTSMCs is a step in the right direction during this devastating pandemic. Sughra’s incredible resolve to continue her education in the face of the COVID-19 calamity at such a young age is extraordinary and shows her conviction to help herself, her family, community and country.
A learning session by Sughra along with her siblings