It is universally accepted that unless people at large are liberated through education, there is little hope of any social or economic breakthrough. A number of policy measures have to be taken to readdress the problem of illiteracy, particularly of girls, but the situation is alarming in most parts of Pakistan. Family pressures, socio-cultural obstacles coupled with a outdated schooling system that restricts access even to basic education.
Like many other conservative countries, girls’ education is one of the most exhaustive challenges in Pakistan. The right of education is denied to over 30 million children from whom 70% are girls who never entered a classroom. The barriers that these girls face are financial limitations, social exclusion, cultural barriers, taboos, prioritization of boys’ rather than girls’ education and poor infrastructure. As a result, the girls end up in child labor or early marriages.
Reviews of various studies reveal that both demand and supply factors act as barriers to girl’s education. On the demand side, poverty, parent’s education, gender discrimination and distance from school are the major barriers for enrolment, attendance and retention in schools. On the supply side, shortage of girls’ schools, shortage or absence of female teachers, and poor quality of teaching are major obstacles to girl’s educations.
This is when two entrepreneurs came through with an excellent innovation to tackle this problem Saad Tanveer Founder & CEO and Marium Khan CO – Founder &COO came in with introducing Tele-Education into the country based on girls education as an effective solution, i.e. providing them with a platform for E-learning from the comfort of their home by the name of AL-FALAH, cutting a range of other indirect costs such as textbooks, school uniforms and transport, being faced by the family. Al-Falah tends to provide equal access to quality standard primary education to girls, creating a child friendly education system, increasing teachers trainings and involving more women in teaching, developing alternative online teaching methods and providing better access to education in both urban and rural areas of Pakistan.
Al-Falah’s major objective is to develop an effective online teaching system that connects urban and rural communities so that everyone receives same quality education across the board. One of the most important factors to consider is how many of the educated women are making use of their education, availing their knowledge for their own economic benefit and giving back to the community? Saad and Marium are trying to bridge the gap between these women, who have an urge to make a difference but are not given an opportunity with these girls who strive and fight for their right to be educated. As Saad and Marium believe that teachers can be the catalysts for encouraging girls to acquire education by providing them with an educational experience of good quality.
Efforts have been made by several NGOs and small enterprises even the government to raise the school enrollments but it is still unsatisfactory. Majority of children attending school are boys. This may be because girls are not prioritized in the policies made on their education. Therefore, our prime focus is to ensure a plan that can be translated into action and support better opportunities for girls in the country.
Being aware of the most important challenge pertaining to poverty, AL-FALAH intend to educate girls belonging to low socio-economic households through global collaboration, governmental, non-governmental organizations as well as community groups. “We must make a joint effort towards supporting girls’ education and realize the economic benefits of investing in girls’ education as every girl forced to remain uneducated is a girl we have failed” as Quoted by Saad and Marium.
Al-Falah is making efforts to provide not only the basic education, but also develop the socio-economic skills to navigate through the changing world and be able to make important decisions of their lives, and therefore contribute to make this society prosper .Saad and Marium believe that better educated women help uplift the communities and nation as a whole.