The process of setting up Better Environment School Team (BEST) to facilitate student participation in school improvement gained ground in Mardan District as it reached two more recently-completed schools. These schools included: Government Girls Higher Secondary School Shahbaz Garhi, and Government Girls Higher Secondary School Shah Dand.
BEST is a school-based and school-driven initiative to maintain and sustain the improvement that Humqadam-SCRP programme has brought. Humqadam is piloting the BEST initiative in 25-pioneering schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.
In GGHSS Shahbaz Garhi 14 new classrooms and 11 new toilets have been constructed, whereas, in GGHSS Shah Dand 11 classrooms have been rehabilitated, which have helped to ease the burden of overcrowding while providing joyful learning environment.
BEST Sessions are geared to get teachers, students, and 12 BEST Members on the same page. The initial session held intimate conversation with the school’s teachers on the internalisation of BEST sessions and outcomes to make schools an improved learning environment.
Ms. Shehnaz, Principal at GGHSS Shah Dand said, “BEST is a great initiative and it’s the schools responsibility now to convert it into a mission. I urge the students and teachers to recognize that the improvements done at the school are an asset, and that we must work together to maintain it.”
Classroom discussions at both schools sparked a lively Q&A on the state of basic services in the school. The newly established team received a hands-on briefing on the activities to grasp the key motto of Learn, Practice, and Promote. Students were given folders with simple, easy-to-follow tips for successful adoption of BEST practices for the sustainability of the school infrastructure.
The BEST launch culminated with a pledge, where the student members of BEST swore to play a leadership role in the school improvement, with a focus on WASH and environment-friendly activities.
Charged with new enthusiasm, Hadiqa of Class 7-A at GGHSS Shah Dand said, “[The new classrooms constructed by Humqadam] are a far cry from the conditions we had earlier, when we had to sit under trees without classrooms. These new classrooms have renewed our spirits. We promise to work together with our teachers and class fellows to keep this school neat and clean.”