The hostel common room (before the fire...)

Submitted by Jürgen Depicker on Fri, 2005-04-15 03:00.
Jürgen Depicker's picture
The hostel common room (before the fire...)
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IBCSK's Rights-Based Education...

Shams Uddin's picture
Submitted by Shams Uddin on Tue, 2007-04-03 10:47.

IBCSK’s educational system is characterized by a comprehensive rights-based education for all children in the target-area, irrespective of sex, race, creed and income levels. It is only through a tentative and standard education that other children’s basic rights can be accomplished in their subsequent lifetime. Children are less vulnerable to abuse, exploitation and violence and more aware of the services are in place to protect them. With the right information, they can draw upon their knowledge, skills and resilience to reduce their risk of exploitation. Against this backdrop, IBCSK has a strategy in place to afford a ‘protective environment’ to children and to shield them from exploitation and abuse within school as well as outside it. For the most vulnerable students from remote and backward villages, there is a hostel facility available to them.

Through awareness-raising meetings, parents are sensitized to provide an enabling environment and not to saddle their children with unreasonable household chores and agro-related demands. They are also cautioned not to resort to any degree of punishment, which can have lasting physical and psychological effects on their children. Within school, teachers are strictly forbidden to resort to corporal punishment. Instead, they have been trained to boost confidence and creativity in children through participatory teaching methods. Teachers follow guidelines designed to groom the latent potential of a child rather than to dictate and cram information to be reproduced later during examinations. This kind of education is bound to distort the personality of a child, hindering the basic instinct of creativity amongst him/her.

IBCSK adopted the notion that, when every child comes of age, that they are entitled to dignified employment opportunities, including the right to dream of a successful future with required capabilities to compete in the complex and competitive job market during his life span. This, in turn, depends on the effectiveness of the ‘protective environment’ [school, hostel, house, playground, etc.], aside from honing creativity in children through games and learning activities. IBCSK considers games as a vital source of practical education for children as well as entertainment for them.

In order to strengthen the ‘protective environment’, IBCSK has embarked upon frequent interaction with parents and is working in coordination with other local institutions. Children will never be free from exploitation until all levels of society - ranging from the family, teacher and local institutions to international community - work together. When any of the layers of the ‘protective environment’ are stripped away, a child becomes more vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and violence. Through routine weekly meetings and sometimes extraordinary meetings, parents and teachers are sensitized towards the burgeoning issues of child rights with priority to fully implement the school’s ‘rights-based’ educational policies.

IBCSK also aims at promoting a child-friendly environment with efforts to neutralize the attitudes or traditions that facilitate abuse and violence. Child-unfriendly traditions or customs are discouraged while child-friendly customs and values which contribute to ‘child rights’ are actively encouraged. IBCSK has already given children the ‘right to speak’ without hesitation - a prerequisite that gives them confidence. They need to be free to speak up about the immediate right that concerns them or other children.

IBCSK vociferously negates the prospect of children’s engagements in unreasonable household chores and agro-related activities. There are instances where children in the remote rural areas are associated with the above mentioned activities. Perhaps they do not have time or simply cannot afford the expenses of buying books or paying tuition fees. In many cases lack of village schools or relatives with access to a school in the region explains the above. Hence the need for friendly educational institutions for poor families, such as IBCSK, coupled with hostel facilities which can go a long way in providing children’s ‘rights to education’, which is the best ‘protective environment’ for those from remote villages of Chitral, in particular Tehsil Molkhow, in Upper Chitral.

To realize the objectives of IBCSK’s rights-based education, we require the following support:
• Oxford text books for the school library to assure the education of the children from poor families who cannot afford expensive books in the market
• General books for the library for the benefit of children and young educated people who are not students at IBCSK
• Computers, educational CDs, toys and other teaching aids to implement ‘games and learning’ strategies in education, which is destined to boost creativity amongst the children
• Individual and institutional donations for extending the IBCSK hostel, besides assuring proper nutrition for the children. Make sure that the IBCSK hostel is providing a ‘protective environment’ to the children of poor families in the remote villages of Upper Chitral
• Linkage development and working partnership with Organisations/ institutions which have the mandate to work for children’s rights.

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