Newsletter 2007-06

Submitted by Wendy on Sat, 2007-06-23 15:22.
Wendy's picture

Dear Friends!

 

School overview in winter

School overview in winter

We can't say life is boring and nothing ever happens! Continuously the unexpected strikes, plans are broken-down and modifications are in.

In the last week of March -school had been reopened only for a month! - it snowed heavily for some days. The result was disastrous. I had never seen such devastation. Roads had disappeared, all electricity poles and lines had given away, phones could not work any more, water pipes were destroyed, complete mountains had collapsed, avalanches were killing,...

At school we were just two left to fight against nature: removing snow from the roofs and from the new plants and young trees that were just coming out of winter, digging channels to avoid streams of water and mud to flow and ravage our premises, helplessly witnessing huge boulders rolling down from the mountain behind us (the wall of one of the hostel room tasted from an encounter with such a stone, and was pitilessly destroyed, as well as a piece of the mosque), trying to keep warm with minimal resources (wood, gas, oil-reserves were nearly exhausted at the beginning of what we thought was spring!), melting tons of snow to get water and ...starving from hunger!

But April came with its warm sun and repairs were quickly undertaken.

At school we prepared for the annual exam session, which was two months earlier than planned. Indeed the government likes to change its policies without any explanations or enquiries, nor notices... The school year starts now in August, instead of March. We have been compelled to begin in June, due to the competition with other private schools which were in haste to get new admissions.

 

Exams, exams!: To avoid cheating all students are mixed up on the ground and teachers together supervise. We are one of the few schools where cheating is really discouraged!Exams, exams!

At half June we got already 15 new kids, and what's fantastic this year is that at least ten among them have been admitted in the Prep-class which is the pre-nursery class. It means people are eager to start with us from the early stage and that's a good news. Usually people tend to wait till their kids are 7 or 8 years old before bringing them to any school. Nowadays a new awareness is spreading. And that's a sign they trust us, and want us to give the best possible chances to their little ones.

We also decided to give ten totally free admissions to very poor students or orphans who can't afford to pay anything but deserve to get education. If anyone wants to support one of them, please contact me.

Another good news is that the school is part of an ECD-program, which is a program run by a Dutch NGO, with aim to train the nursery teachers. They are being closely followed by professionals during at least the next 4 years, with weekly visits at the school,and intensive training courses during holidays.

At the primary and middle levels our teachers are regularly sent for short trainings, and I must say that they are usually among the best ones in their respective groups! This I add to encourage people who might lose their hope of seeing things getting better..., like me sometimes! Those teachers come back with fresh ideas and energy and like to implement them during their classes. We soon will have two-weekly meetings on Sundays to discuss those tips and methods with the whole staff; this will benefit all of us.

Our ten-grade students have given their matric exams with the Peshawar Board of Education, and we are just waiting for their result. Depending on the marks they will obtain those kids will take admission in colleges in Chitral, Peshawar, Swat , Islamabad, or even further.

Our cook at his tandoorOur cook at his tandoor

After the rains we started with re-construction works. On 15th of April the bricks for the new hostel kitchen were made and the walls followed quickly. I believe at the time of writing our cook must be overjoyed in his clean new kitchen after a year of working in terrible conditions. I remind those who forgot it: in December 2005 a fire destroyed my house and the kitchen of the hostel. During 2006 we didn't have any extra fund for rebuilding. But this year we got some help from two sources in Belgium: a.s.b.l. Timon, and the Stad Koksijde. They were so kind to recognise our efforts and support our project this year again. Once more a very big thanks to them!

All the Urdu textbooks as well as the social studies textbooks have been changed this year. As you remember we lend all school books to the students for one year. Many of them are damaged beyond repair and have to be replaced. We opted for newer Urdu books, nicely written and bound, and really cheap. Still we have to purchase lots of Oxford Math, English and Science books, which are very expensive, but remain till now the best ones.

The rush after schoolThe rush after school

We have a great demand from students living further away on the road to Chitral. More and more parents want to admit their children in our school. The only problem is that our vehicle is really too small. It's already over-crowded and the transport became a hazardous enterprise. We need a bus urgently. I try to contact some eventual donor agencies for it, but till now all efforts have been vain. Actually with a 5000 Euro we could already purchase something decent and big enough to take about 50 students.

I will end this newsletter with 2 events that will take place after the summer.

  1. On 14th of August we will be ready to give our first public “show”. On this national day it is always a custom for schools to prepare some speeches, dramas, quiz's, etc and to present all of this to parents and interested. It's high time for us to do so!

  2. In September we will go with the new class ten boys for a 4-day tour to lower Pakistan, and visit some places of importance. This is meant to open the eyes of our students and to show them the world beyond Chitral. They have still two months to collect some funds to realise this project.

By now you know already a lot more. For further question, advise or help don't hesitate to contact me at ibnbatutaschool@gmail.com.

The phone in school is sometimes working, and we are still trying hard to get a better connection. Internet seems to be another story yet, but we keep hope. Don't be frustrated if I don't answer very quickly; don't forget it is Chitral and things don't work like one would like them to work... But I promise to answer all mails!

I will add once again that every donation is used in honesty, and totally spent on this noble project.

Money can be given on the following accounts, with mention IBCSK, both on my name (Wendy Finet):

In Belgium: 979-6511696-91;

In Pakistan: 4205-6 (Khyber Bank)

Till 18th of June I am in Belgium, you can phone me at 0485 890701.

After that, phone at school is 0092 943 301032.

If you feel like sending teaching resources you can do so at:

Wendy-IBCSK

PO KOSHT

Tehsil Mastuj

District Chitral

NWFP

Pakistan.

Everything properly enclosed and nicely packed reaches without risk, especially in summer. With teaching resources I mean: games, sport material, drawing and sewing utensils, wool and knitting equipment, and whatever you might think useful in school!

Thanks for your support!

Class 8 repairs the road...

Class 8 repairs the road...


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