Written by: Syed Abdullah Hameed - Humqadam/Islamabad
Photos credits: Muhammad Anjum - Humqadam/Kasur
Situated in the densely populated vicinity of Allama Iqbal Town in District Lahore, Punjab province, Government Girls Higher Secondary School (GGHSS) Umer Block dates back to 1989. The only girl’s higher secondary school in the union council of 213 Kashmir Block, 27 classrooms provided inadequate space to accommodate 1650 girls’ students. The school faced numerous problems including overcrowding, multi-grade teaching and at times the classes were held out in open or in verandas. Despite parent’s interest in sending their children to school, overcrowded classrooms impacted adversely on student’s enrolment.
Humqadam-SCRP is regarded as a laudable initiative for improving school infrastructure across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab provinces. GGHSS Umer Block was adopted by Humqadam-SCRP in March 2016 and in 21 months’ time constructed two academic blocks with 13 new classrooms and toilet facility with nine cubicles which also accommodates differently abled persons.
Earlier, overcrowded classrooms and out-of-order toilets leaving no choice for over 1600 female students except being forced to study in derelict classrooms through summer and winter. The new and improved infrastructure has gained the attention of parents to enrol their daughters in a safe and healthy learning environment.
Additional classrooms have not only resolved the multi-grade teaching issue but have brought a positive change in the mindset of the adjoining community. The overall school’s enrollment has increased from 1,650 to 2,185.
Humqadam-SCRP is working closely with Government of Punjab to provide additional classrooms and toilet facilities in government schools of Punjab province. As part of improving school infrastructure, 80 schools have been completed and handed over in Lahore district, as of April 2018. Whereas, Humqadam is currently active in nine schools to positively impact educational attainments.