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Developing Skills of Students in Private Schools

Project Background

The religious schools of Pakistan have been the focus of world attention since the September 11 attacks in the U.S. and later the London 7/7 bombing. There are more than 20,000 registered religious seminaries across Pakistan with student strength of more than two million. However, thousands of other private schools operate in the informal sector across Pakistan with student population believed to be in hundreds of thousands. An absolute majority of these institutions, both registered and unregistered, are imparting education that prepares the students to lead prayers, work as seminary teachers or for religious organizations. This type of education on one front reduces the employment opportunities for the Private Schools graduates while on the other it contributes to the increased involvement of seminary students in Islamist militant activism.
Given the surge in mobile phone usage across Pakistan, and the penetration of information and communication technologies even within the country's more remote areas, the project proposes to work with 300 young men and women (16-24 year old) within Private Schools and will offer intensive training in one or more technology-related skills courses. The four courses offered will, by design, be intensive and will cover significant content in a short-period of time, with the sole objective of facilitating student placement in jobs and generating extra revenue through these skill sets.
This includes:

  1. Introductory MS Operating System
  2. Mobile Phone repair
  3. Basic web-design and multi-media production
  4. Computer Hardware assembling and troubleshooting

Project Objectives

General

The Inspiring Lives Organization has established a pilot project “Developing Skills of Students at Private Schools” in collaboration with Umeed Jawan.
For the project; in Lahore three private educational institutes has been selected and IT and Mobile Phone repair labs were prepared with the latest stat of the art IT equipments for the training purposes. For the technical training purpose 100 student from each private institute and collectively 300 students were enrolled and trained in different technical skills.
The four courses were launched by plan and have covered the significant content in a short-period of time, with the sole objective of facilitating student placement in jobs and generating extra revenue through these soft and hard skills courses.
It was a multidimensional approach to address radicalism at the Private Schools by attempting to mainstream the students through introduction to secular studies, imparting skills to increase their job market and engage them in community work beyond religious services.

Analysis

Improving the educational performance of young students in religious private institutes is critical for the nation's future social and economic prosperity. It was observed if a quality education is provided to the students and the skills they need to participate as productive, creative and responsible members of society the results could be very excellent. The heart of a good education is quality teaching. During this activity every day, our instructors has use their training and professional judgment to assess how students are performing and what needs to be done to support to the students in achieving their full potential.
With the help of these surveys we found that the students had a rapid growth in their skills, knowledge and in their mindset as when they started this course they were unaware of the terminologies related to computer and mobile phone fields as they have never before interacted with computers but their will to learn the computer helped them to understand this course and not only that the students have just attended this course but they also have good skills developed in them due to this course.

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