Institute for Development Studies and Practices- Pakistan
Processes of Educational Development in Traditional Societies: Experiences from Balochistan- Pakistan
Paper for Regional conference on Gender and Governance 16-18th December, Islamabad
Authors: Dr. Quratulain Bakhteari Barkat Shah Kakar
C-32, Railway Housing society, Jaint Road Quetta. P.O Box# 85GPO Quetta Web site: www.idsp.org.pk E-Mail: email@example.com Ph:081-449775 – 445192 Fax:441110
This paper is an outcome of extensive involvement in the several processes of development at Balochistan; consisting of continuous dialogue and mobilization in approximately 4000 villages of almost all the ethnic, cultural, tribal and geographical representation. I (Quratulain) remained in the field for hundred of hours in the scattered clusters of the province, I found every where an unconditional love, respect, trust and cooperation in the population, which the mainstream development discards as underdeveloped and illiterates. Taking this opportunity as a great favor of fortune and paying gratitude to Allah, while acknowledging these tribal, cultural and ethnic people of Balochistan. Taking these operations into the extensive challenging areas of Balochistan acknowledgement of all the young people who led a process of change on the basis of their tireless efforts and commitment is very necessary. Similarly, special thanks to all the management, field, administrative staff and drivers of several organizations with whom I (Quratulain) worked in the span of my 17 years at Balochsitan. Raking this opportunity I(Barkat Shah ) will acknowledge the continuous efforts and support of the first tier faculty member of IDSP, who shared the space with the second tier faculty with utmost honesty and kindness and this is because of their trust in the young faculty member for experiencing the learning diversity at program, mainstreaming gender in development. We are also thankful to ROZAN and MUBRIZA for allowing me to write a paper in the very short while finally I am thankful to the support of IDSP faculty members, and administrative staff for actualizing this opportunity as a real one for me.
The acknowledgement of all the associate mentors, parents of interns, families, and communities cannot be neglected, we, the authors are extremely thankful to them. Authors: Dr. Quratulain Bkhteari Barkat Shah Kakar
Title: processes of educational development in
traditional societies: experiences from Balochistan Pakistan 2. Introduction
Balochistan Comprise 43.6% of the land area of the total area of Pakistan. It is scarcely populated I.e. 19 persons living per square km, hard rugged terrain with mountains; desert and sea coast makes the province very rich in its diversity. With its neighbors Afghanistan and Iran Balochistan‘s society is fundamentally a tribal society that has its roots in nomadic, and indigenous cultures of the region. It shares the historical processes of Afghanistan and Iran as well as its own .Its coastal belt is influenced by the gulf countries, even today the population is a frequent traveler for economic and social livelihood.
With its only university the province has created space for its youth for higher education; recently a Women University has come up. For decades the youths of the province were and still are influenced with socialist ideology originated from Russia, while USA asserted its influence for a modern capitalist society. This struggle for gaining ideological influences had a very strong effect on the young generation for decades until the end of the cold war. The space is now being taken over by religious extremism although it is not across the board but its influences are getting stronger mainly due to remoteness, poverty and illiteracy. Therefore, the people and their traditions are undermined by all the influences, the push and pull of immature modernization, outdated socialism and by confused, ill informed medieval religious education and practices. One finds in all this confusion that tribal or traditional societies have the roots for creating an effective and meaningful civil society. It can be a civil society that can shape its own direction according to its own realities. This paper shares experiences of the processes involved in working with the traditional societies of Balochistan.
3. OVER VIEW OF BALOCHISTAN’S SOCIETY:
3.1. Traditional values. Balochistan possess diverse cultural, ethnic and tribal configuration along with its unprecedented scattered characteristic of population. The pluralism, in this context is more vivid and generative, which maintains the identity and individuality of each cultural and traditional group. There exists interesting harmony, uniformity and resemblance in almost all the cultural and traditional norms, which are commonly based on the driving value of Collectivism. This is the unique source of survival, in the rigid geographical and seasonal conditions. This is also a connecting source in the context of the particular means and tools of production in the traditional society of Balochistan.
The over all traditional norms and values revolves round the principle of sharing, cooperation, give and take, tolerance, mutual trust, respect and shared vision of the social decorum.
Like the traditional society of Balochistan still possess strong social fabrics for challenging the injustices and inequalities. There exits strong values of mutual accountability which configures the over all social order.
Like, the tribal community of District Loralai has formulated their own response to check the stealing and robbery which is called DHAND. It tends to mobilize the over al community for finding the responsible persons for injustice and robbery. The foot print of the thief will be chased and if it enters into the other village, there over all villages is responsible either identifying the responsible people, restoring the loss or guiding for stepping out the same foot print from the village.
Similarly, BAHOUT is about to provide unconditional support and shelter to the marginalized, poor and weak sects and people, in trouble.
WATAKH/BAITAK is basically a functional institution for providing free services for justice and conflict resolution on local level. It is also a learning pace, where the person sits sings, shares their pleasures and grievances and collectively strive to find out sustainable solutions to their issues
DRAWAAI was one of the traditional practices, where young male and female sits in couple and shares openly. This practice has been legitimated in the tribal set up on the basis of trust and respect. This has played vital role in the promotion and creation of folk literature. Similarly KAMARA AMMAI (Collective dance) has been very common, in which male and female dance together and expresses their views and feeling openly in the form of different lyrics. The women shares and expresses grievances, injustices, hardships and pleasures freely in the ceremony.
ASHAR is the indigenous approach of mobilizing the people for joint action. All the people in a community have to participate voluntarily in the work at fields, building houses, harvesting, digging, KAREZ cleaning etc.
NANWAT/MIRDHE, this is one of the prominent practices of almost all the tribal and traditional communities of the province. It is one of the sustainable source for resolving the conflicts between the sever enemies and rivals. One of the faction, usually who commits act of injustice or oppression, finally realizes its role in making troubles for others. It gathers the other honorable individuals of the community and goes to the door of their enemy, and formally acknowledges their act of injustice and oppression. They also take the reasonable ransom to pay for the losers. PARGORDE, it is traditional practice to conserve the fertility and production of the natural pasture (Grazing Lands). All the people pf the community is bound to not cut the wood, not graze their cattle in the particular area identified for two years. They arrange
alternative lands and pastures for their needs of food and energy, which are already conserved for two years as a no go area. 3.2. Socio economic situation. Balochistan has the lowest socio-economic indicators. Women have the lowest ratio of access to the education and health opportunities and services. They are completely dependent on their tribal values and live on arid and drought hit land on isolated villages often having less then 500 population. Funds from government development programs often get unutilized, under spent or misused, both in public and private sector. The economic conditions are badly damaged by the drought, which has wiped out both of the natural and traditional sources of production that is gardens/vegetation and livestock. The grazing land has become barren and the mountains with lowest vegetation are looking as rocks and mud. Almost 3.5 million goats and ships were perished and countless number of trees was cut off. Hundreds of nomad communities have rushed down to the plans from mountains. They have filled the local markets with the least possibilities of jobs and employment. This has developed hazardous consequences to the biological and cultural diversity of the province. The drought rescuers (Development activist) did not strategize alternative means of production or for the revival of the indigenous skills of the survivor’s communities. Therefore most of the bread winners of the population of the province are forced to seek employment opportunities into other areas of the country. 3.3. SITUATION OF EDUCATION
The situation of education and literacy is not very satisfactory; the over all process of learning in the government and privates schools is adversely interpreted into a new set of mechanical skills of literacy (writing, reading, and mathematics) in a alienated language and culture. The literacy rate over last three decades has been doubles, but there is also a gradual downfall in the best quality of the social indicators.
According to the SPDC annual review, 2002-3, Balochistan Presents the worst case scenario in all respects,51% urban and 28% rural adult literacy with the distinction of 50%male and 12%female literacy. The over all condition of infrastructures is not very satisfactory, that is, 74%schools are without boundary wall, 93%schools does not have electricity, 78%schools are without water.83%without latrine. The immense drop out at primary level is alarming, 49%male and 41%female leaves schools before reaching grade 5i . 3.4. HEALTH Balochistan has the very scattered population where the health facilities are limited and sanitation facilities are inadequate. Strong influences of the tribal culture plays critical role in the over all process of development of the region. The far-flung rural and the semi-urbanized slums still faces the dilemma of the usual infections and viral attacks, which causes fatality for them. Balochistan has been rated high for the infant and mother mortality during the pregnancies. The installation of Basic health units has been a failed model of providing the health services. More than 50% BHUs are not functional at all. On the other hand the folk means of treatment and medication based on local wisdom has been discarded which has paved way for a direct dependence on the allopathic medicines. Scientific methods of medical researches are not carried out for controlling the diseases and creating awareness at community levels.
The health services are highly concentrated and centralized at the capital of the province, all the professional physicians, surgeons and specialists are gathered in Quetta, while there exists no reasonable human resource at the out skirts of the province. The strong patriarchal norms have also contributed into the miserable reproductive health of the woman. At one hand, the girls are not provided proper diet which stops her physical growth and ultimately renders fatal consequences at the time of pregnancy. On the other hand the local population has less health and hygiene awareness, which are making ever new challenges to the people.
The social configuration of Balochistan possesses pluralistic qualities, but the exposition of the indigenous population towards a changed life style, and means of production have maintained a new pattern of settlement and dwelling. The urbanizing trends at all communities have created enormous challenges to the health and hygiene conditions. The newly urbanized slums and the drought affected population at far-flung areas have least awareness regarding the essence of sanitation. On the other hand the planning of the government institutions is also inefficient and naïve, which do not respond to the frequent needs of the diverse communities.
Balochistan is the driest part of the country; with an average rainfall o 21cm. this has damaged the over all environmental and natural fabrics of livelihood. The Rangelands in Balochistan are the major concern of almost 80% of rural population of the province. About 94% area in Balochistan is rangelands. Rangelands are producing 10-50% less than their potential mainly because of overgrazing, long past negligence and lack of scientific knowledge. At present, rangelands are estimated to provide 70% forage. Afghan refugees and their livestock have seriously damaged about 0.23 million acres of rangelands. Although measures under strict financial constraint have been carried out, still a lot needs to be done.ii Some range areas, as well as forests, occupy the principal watershed areas. Arid climate, scarce water resources and their inefficient use are the limiting factors for effective watershed development. It has been estimated that watershed in Balochistan has lost 70% of its absorptive capacity due to lack of vegetative cover, overgrazing, trampling and accelerated erosion. Karezes (underground tunnels for perennial flow of water), artisan wells and springs have either dried up or are yielding decreasingly, reducing scope of watershed development.
Governance at Balochistan has been resembled to the other parts of the country. The over all political instability has created culture of opportunism rather than the culture of transparency and accountability. The diverse external and internal influences on the governance policy and planning have damaged the masses trust on the mainstream governance structure and process.
The local spheres and social institutions are not creating the grass roots level leadership, which can handle and governance issues and holistic social and political perspective. Though the new governance structure is also hijacked by the ruling class, and feudal lords, but there exist some of the successes stories as well. It reveals that the structure possesses great potential of the participation of the marginalized communities.
4. MAIN ARGUMENT.
It is believed and often expressed in government and non government power bases, that, traditional societies and their values are the major obstructions in building civil societies in Pakistan. The author shares their experiences of last 17 years of focus work on educational developmental processes, with the participation of local communities of Balochistan. The lessons demonstrate that there is a great potential, of evolving a meaningful civil society from within the tribal and traditional people. The only obstruction one repetitively encounters is lack of collective vision among all partners committed to creation of civil society that has respect for all cultures, traditions, languages, and livelihood and over all diversity of the region. The governance system is blindly implementing uniform social sector delivery mechanisms, one need to understand that uniformity is for the convenience of the people in power or the dominant group so that one policy and one system can be easily implemented. One major looser in such top down structures are women and the indigenous population, which happens to be the
majority in Pakistan. The lessons are presented here is to analyze the processes involved in building a civil society that represent all in the country.
5. EXPERIENCES OF EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN BALOCHISTAN:
Summary. The paper presents experiences of four major creative developments with ordinary women and men’s participation that took place in the province. These experiences took place from 1987 and to date (Dec, 6th, 2004) it continues. These experiences were and are still continued to be useful in creating bases of community support for the ownership of socio economic and political changes in their community‘s lives especially in women.
5.1. Sanitation and hygiene education and practices. Sanitation improvement project was carried out by mobilizing the communities in construction of 5000 house hold latrines, addressing sanitation and hygiene practices as well as building partnerships with the government’s water and sanitation authorities. This sanitation project was financially assisted by government of Neitherlands.The project period was from late 80’s but was discontinued abruptly in 1992. The lessons and the experiences were concluded by creating a NGO named Taraqee.
Issues and challenges.
Lack of any kind of house hold sanitation or toilet facility for the ordinary people living on out skirt of city of Quetta was a major issue of health conditions of women and children especially. Some houses had built deep pits, they were cause of dangerous accidents most of the victims were women and children. Quetta does not have enough water for water borne sewerage system, nor do the households have financial resources to pay for one. Women and children were most affected as there were no open spaces or fields for them to go. The government initiated a project in 1985 to construct double pit house hold latrines. This project came to stand still after 100 free of cost latrines were given to the selected families. In 1987 the issue was critically examined by the author of this paper. Following were the findings. The government implemented the project without any involvement of the communities, the latrines were just given no one known what is it for, who owns it, the families or the government? The families were never consulted therefore women did not know what these structures are for. They used it as food storage for cows and goats. Most of the latrines were constructed with male guest rooms therefore these were beyond women and children’s access as women are strictly segregated from being seen by strange men. Since regular government procedures were used therefore contractors were hired on tender and bidding, the cost was raised 10 times more then the actual, the high cost was not affordable by the communities, the project was considered too expensive for communities therefore unsustainable.
The people in general did not have knowledge, experiences or access to an alternative and appropriate technical solution for their latrine waste disposal. Nor there were any facilities for the communities to go and have any information. No human resources were available if a family wanted to construct a technically viable latrine on their own. There was no easily available construction material suited to the water situation of Quetta. Latrines once made did not have any links to hygiene education and practices, these areas were not even thought of. The result was the project was considered unfeasible for the communities of Quetta, this was concluded without consulting the communities or women in families. It was in this background that project was reorganized and options and approaches were suggested to the government.
184.108.40.206 Options and Approaches
1. Introducing double pit pour flush household latrines directly to the family and present it as a need for women and children and a responsibility of men to undertake the project on behalf of their communities. 2. Intensive hygiene education program to be made part of the project. 3. Community education and training on latrine construction and management. , payment for the cost and maintenance. No latrines free of costs except for the disabled, widows with children, Government support in subsidy arrangements must be essential. 4. Creating a market for construction material required for pit latrines, as well as developing human resources for implementation of the project.
Creating a core team of local women and men with effective knowledge and has practiced all aspects of sanitation technologies, community education, hygiene education, evolving partnerships with the government and management of community based latrine construction program. Understanding and building on traditional values related to sanitation and latrine use. Its implications on women and children. One of the needs identified was to construct latrines near to the living quarters of the women, while men wanted to have latrines near to the
rooms where men visitors sits as it adds to the status and impresses the guests. This means that latrines will never be used by women. It was learnt that women when needing to use the latrine does not want to be observed when walking toward it, especially the newly weds brides and the young women. The families live in large extended houses where latrines if exists, is located in the far end of the compound. In the evening all men of the family sits in the compound, therefore a woman has to walk across the compound to go to toilet, In rainy or cold weather the children and pregnant women or sick and elderly faces difficulty, as well as danger of slipping on the wet and muddy ground. Most of the families do not have electricity the children are afraid to use the toilet in the night, thus reverting back to the previous practices of squatting on any open spaces on the compound for using as toilet. Building on the situation the matter was raised in the community meeting where some older women also sat and participated. The men hearing the reasons of women wanting the latrines close to where they live were very concerned and immediately agreed to the option. The reason they agreed was they related to the traditional value of women’s privacy and protecting her modesty having a latrine near to her living quarters ensures her privacy. As a result the community agreed that site selection for latrine construction will be women’s responsibility because they understands their needs better. The women’s role in making decisions in site selection was a major shift in the overall management and control of latrine construction process. This speeded the construction and motivation for having house hold latrines as men considered it their responsibility to protect their women’s modesty. Previously the government tried to help people have a house hold toilet but the community resisted it. Following the guideline given by the community, the project helped in creating a plan and a system. As the construction took on the women started takeing more responsibility of managing the construction process. To support the communities in working together men and women needed to know each others view point, therefore cadres of sanitation promoters and hygiene educationalist were organized. They met families on individual level at their door steps they helped in organizing family meeting to discuss the family health, sanitation and hygiene issues , its solutions , how women and children get effective and the money that men has to spend
on medical bills. These family based discourses helped in shifting the perception of the project from government led to family based solution. Thus bringing the consensus building process in the family, which is usually not possible in traditional communities as men and women do not discuss mutually, it is considered man’s area to make decisions for all in the family. Women are not to be consulted on any issue. Establishing reference centers for facilitating community education, sanitation promotion, training of masons on construction and management, preparing cost estimates, supply of material, training of women in the families on hygiene practices and maintenance of latrines. Here both men and women could come and know about their latrine
construction process. Who will do it, how much it will cost, what will be the credit and how the installments will be arranged. A complete plan developed for each family needs and its Scio-economic situation they select their team of mason and take on their role in the management of the construction. The government set up a credit line for the house holds for constructing latrines on credit, the families returns the loan in easy installments of Rs.25. per month installment per latrine. This developed a very useful partnership with the government and the families. Once the latrines were constructed the teams of hygiene educators who were women from the community visited each family and spend half a day giving education in correct use of latrine, water use for flushing and keeping it clean. The hygiene practices were also reflected to improve them. Logical links were shown between human waste ,the flies with food, link of hands used in body cleaning, handling of children’s excreta with hands and hands being used to feed the children and in other house hold work. All contributes to intestinal diseases and frequent illness in children, leading to malnourishment and sever bad health. The hygiene education became a very useful means for promotion of latrine construction.
220.127.116.11. Results and out comes.
The costs of each latrine came down from10, 000 rupees to 2500. This reduction in cost immediately increased the affordability level of the people in the communities. Instantly community based skilled people experienced in construction of latrines got employment for construction and supervision, and a large number of community people got work.
A community based cadre of sanitation promoters and hygiene educators emerged for constant education and facilitation for women and men in the communities. Relevant construction material became available in the local markets for pit latrines , one most important material was introducing of shallow water seal for the squatting seat, this could flush the waste in much less water, then the one designed in western models with over head water tank system. These two fundamental technical solutions one of affordability and the other of less water consumption broke all barriers or resistance for the project. The practices of sanitation and hygiene changed tremendously, as one could see that families with more members constructed more then one latrines for all in the house. Almost all latrines were near to women’s living areas thus making life easier for women, children and the sick and elderly. Trust in the capacity of women in decision making increased in the families. The decision making became more gender sensitive in the families. In general the needs of women were discussed for the first time, women field staff were part of these discussions and were well accepted by the traditional people. There was no defaulter in payment of the loans taken for latrine construction by families. One unfortunate aspect was that the project was discontinued due to some disagreement between Dutch government and Balochistan government. The issues were on the larger sewerage project which had nothing to do with the pit latrines. This discontinuation damaged the communities‘s trust and good will, the credibility of the people in the project as well as the whole believe for community based programmes. The human resources got disillusioned and unemployed.
5.2. Community support for girl’s education in rural areas.
The second project was of promotion of girl’s education. This was a project implemented by government of Balochistan with USA- AID and World Bank’s financial assistance as a soft loan. This project was implemented from 1991 to 1998, with an objective of developing a formal primary education system for girls. This project was also discontinued without reaching its conclusion. The experience helped in creating an NGO by the name of Society for community support primary education Balochistan and supporting several NGOS to work as partners in education promotion. 14
5.2.1. Issues and Challenges
Most of the Challenges and issues were driven by the assumptions drawn from the practices and experiences of the past. • It was believed that, people of Balochistan are against girl’s education and that qualified local women are not available to be recruited as teachers. • No one will give land free of cost to the government to build girls schools was a major assumption in government offices. • Opportunity cost is too high for parents to send girls to school, was a firm perception of the very institution responsible for the promotion of girl’s education. • Need to develop an education system with women as education officers. Service rules needs to be changed if local women are appointed as teachers. • Teachers training need to get closer to the homes of the women teachers which ensure that schools and teachers are genuion and not on paper only. • Teachers once appointed tries to get transferred to city thus leaving the village school teacher less Teacher appointments and sanctioning of school is believed to be the personal gratification of the rich and powerful, it is not seen as a government institution with public accountability and service to communities at large. • More then 400 girl’s schools were on paper only while the salaries and school expenses were going to few influential
Options and Approaches
process of studying the government system of education, identifying the gaps, constraints, and opportunities for building partnerships.
1. Understand the traditional value system related to girls education, launch a
2. Create and develop community support, organize the parents of girl child as village education committees VECS, for promotion and establishing rural girl’s primary schools in partnership with government education system.
3. Create and develop a cadre of local women and men as community education promoters and build partnerships between government and communities of parents of girl child. 4. Adapt service rules for the appointment of female teachers for a community supported school. 5. Flexibility needed in the qualification for a woman teacher, she should be a permanent resident of the village where school is needed. She can be appointed after completing 8th grade instead of 10th, she can join the service at age 16 instead of 21, she can join even at the age of 40 which is considered over age for government jobs, and it is closer to retirement age. 6. The teacher’s posts is a village assist and cannot be transferred with the teacher, the parents of girl child must be the decision makers in school’s management while, the government should be responsible for quality of education and financing of the education given in the school. 7. Create processes of community education and mobilization with absolute transparency and high accountability at all levels.
Scanning the communities for availability for a potential teacher, at the same time community discourses were held on girl’s education. Detail information given to the people, on government policies of flexibility in teacher’s recruitment and training, on organization of the parents as village education committees and partnership with government for organization and management of their schools. Potential villages were identified where there was a woman with 8th grade schooling, According to the tradition, the family of the potential teacher was given complete orientation in her own home, the family needs to be satisfied first before any thing is done. All questions and concerns were responded, once the family was comfortable they granted permission to test the candidates in reading, writing and numerical skills as well as her comprehension skills.
This test was carried out in a women’s meeting so that community can see the transparency. Some times there were more than one potential candidate, as the processes of schools became real and several schools became operational, the teachers started getting government salaries .Competition started to emerge among the female candidates, the rich and powerful used their influences for their own women to get the salaries. The community with Education Promoter’s support made the testing process transparent by holding the tests in male and female meetings. The results of the tests were made by a local teacher often a male teaching in boy’s school. There were times when the women from powerful families could not make it in the test, the results were announced in the community meetings where all families of rich and poor , the families of poor candidate or the rich all sat together and would observe the testing process and its results. There were times when the government officers tried to make especial arrangements for the influential, but the well practiced education promoters played key role in building consensus in the community for even and fair attitude for all in the meeting. One surprising question was that, from where and how these young women who were being tested for teacher’s appointment got their education as there were no girl’s schools in the community or any where near the villages. It was learnt that girls who had their fathers or brothers teaching in boys schools, they got their daughters and sisters enrolled in boys schools, prepared them at home for annual exams because girls were not allowed in boys schools, while there were no girl’s schools .The male administration supported these girls and did not force them or discouraged them to attend regular classes. This is how within the first year the project was able to find more than 80 women with 8th grade education. These women were sitting at home and were invisible to the education system that was looking for female teachers for last many years. We learnt that these women belonged to poor families or families with out influences. When asked from the families why they did not apply for teaching jobs for their educated women before the project came to them, their usual response was that, “only rich and well connected families get government jobs. So we never tried”. Once a teacher was selected then she was given training on mobilization of village parents to form village education committees. She join the team of education promoters and made home visits to each and every family, she would introduce herself as the school
teacher and explains that, how she plans to start the school. She then takes interviews from the mother of girls between the ages of 5 to 12 years. She gave motivational orientation for promoting education for girls. Being from the community the teacher talked in context of community values, Quranic teachings, and sayings form Prophet (P.B.U.H) on the importance of girl’s education. After the interview and orientation the teacher then invites the family for a community meeting to form a village education committee. It is the tradition to respond to the invitation of the person who visits the house and invites to come to their homes. Almost always the meetings to form VECS were well attended by the parents of girl child. The parent’s selects members for their VEC’s and together develops its role and responsibilities; the district educational officer gives the roles and responsibilities from government side. All signs the agreement. This agreement then goes to the director of primary education. The VEC arranges for land free of cost for school, while together they build a temporary arrangement to start their school. Initially the village school’s teachers were given training by a local teacher on how to organize and manage a school. The young village women took up the leadership as teachers of their schools as well as the social activist in their villages. The teacher with the support of her family and VEC starts her school, without any material support from the government. The district education officers keep monitoring the school / this monitoring goes on for minimum 6 months to maximum two years depending upon the interest of the government, approach and contacts of theVEC members. Once twenty community schools were established, the government formally organizes a three months teacher‘s training program, for the teachers of community supported schools, these training programs were held in the same district where the teachers belonged. Thus the concern for women going away from their homes for three months was also addressed. Conventionally the government used to organize one year teacher’s training in the provincial head quarter, Quetta. This was a very difficult situation for women teachers as the family was not willing to send their women too far for three
months. Traditionally women do not go to other cities without their family members for over night stay in a strange place.
Results and outcome.
The results were extra ordinary successful almost all the challenges were responded and overcome with community support of villages, the communities responded
positively to the open and flexible attitude of the government’s education department. More then 1800 girl’s primary schools were established with community support and in partnership with the government. More then 4000 rural communities of Balochistan were visited and scanned for potential women teachers, and to organize the parents of girl child for establishing girl’s schools in their villages. Within five years the girls enrollment in schools increased from 8400 to almost 200 000, More then 3000 local women with education became community supported government school teachers, these women became role models for younger women to continue their education and become an earning member of her family as well as play her role in building a civil society in her community and province. The families and communities of the rural Balochistan very actively participated in a highly sensitive and controversial issue of female education. Their positive response was due to the process adopted by the project of community education through discourses on education, giving each and everyone equal respect and opportunity to understand and participate. The women teachers from the communities were recruited with family and community consent, the process was within the control of the community rather then with the government officers. There were times when the communities wanted girl’s schools desperately but the potential teachers could not pass the tests. In such situations the local male teachers took the responsibility to prepare her well next time if one more chance is given. The project in consultation with the community concluded that each candidate will be given three chances in three months. The family and the community took the responsibility of preparing the women for retesting. Today, more schools for girls have been opened with the community support process, the total enrolment is reaching 3, 00,000. 19
When ever the rich or powerful breaks the process and get a unqualified teacher appointed through the back doors the issue is given to the courts.
A national program initiated by government, Called TAWANA-Pakistan, for girl’s nutrition is currently being implemented in 500 of these schools. If these schools were not established, Balochistan would not have been a part of this program. More than 80 young women as field workers along with the teachers of community supported schools are involved in organizing mothers committees as Schools TAWANA Committees. These committees prepare daily nutrition food for 50,000 girls in schools.
The project was rated as a very successful nationally and internationally, but the way it was discontinued due to major disputes that emerged between World Bank and Provincial government on issues of management and finance the whole project was discontinued. This sudden halt left the field staff in the air, the processes were left half backed, schools buildings were not given in several villages, and the model was half way completed. Another initiative taken in 120 communities to give school in complete control of the communities was also left in the half way. Today, more then 10 years now since CSP schools were established the province is now having women in various development programmes for their communities. One major concern is that school curricula is not gender sensitive , the schooling system does not value the traditional norms and culture, these schools can be the centers of regaining cultural identity instead of following a untested and consumerism oriented path of modernization. Due to low quality of education the drop out is increasing in the CSP schools.
5.3. Towards Institutionalization: Establishment of Institute for Development Studies and Practices-Pakistan.:
The third area that came out of all the learning’s of the first two experiences is the creation of a national Institute for Development Studies and Practices (IDSP). The young women and men of Balochistan created IDSP to study development, understand it and
creates new spaces for creating and developing human resources for community based development processes. This institution was created in 1998, with financial assistance from The Asia foundation (TAF), The Netherlands, and Action aid, the government of Balochistan gave its Rural Development Academy (RDA), and the young men and women from all over Pakistan provided their support and contribution in their own education and learning’s. Several NGOS from Balochistan and from other provinces extended their support in the creation of IDSP. The institution is now well established and continues to learn and grow according to its capacities and resources. The core objective of establishing IDSP is to create and development young human resources, by launching development studies courses stemmed in theory and practices. The young learners from all over the country, get through a deep reflective process of learning ,de-learning and re-learning and understanding the process of critical thinking, creating their own concepts and practice it. They also study and analyze existing developmental programs. IDSP creates its own concepts for testing out innovation in building a civil society. In the series of IDSP several development studies courses, with almost different modalities, new experiments have been taken for streamlining the process of human resource development. In the series of several innovations, Mainstreaming Gender in Development Program (MGD) based development in district development programs possesses great significance in the history of IDSP.
5.4. Mainstreaming gender in district development plan in the devolved local government structure.
The fourth area that has consolidated the lessons of last 17 years is launching the Mainstreaming Gender in Development Program focused on the district based development in Balochistan. The concept of the program is generated from IDSP’s other experiences in Interns Scheme, Peshawar 1999. Where IDSP contributed in conceptualizing the scheme while introducing a unique approach of Mentoring. Third party evaluation of the Interns Scheme, has coined the need of the institutionalization of the approach for developing critically conciantized and pro-active human resource.
Part of the IS’s (Intern scheme) sustainability lies in its institutionalization. With out an institutional home, it would be difficult to sustain wide scale replication. While the IS(Intern scheme) has achieved some level of sustainability as defined above, it has not as yet made any significant headway towards institutionalizationiii
For the replication of the same approach for human resource development, IDSP designed an extensive program governed by the formal mentoring processes. The
program is jointly financed by Gender Equity Project (GEP), CIDA and IDSP. This is a two years project mainly consisting of gradual learning courses.
The Program extends its benefits to different stakeholders including civil society, local government, education department, families and local communities. But it binds four key learning cohorts. The Program revolves round the central cohort of 20 young girls (interns) from the six different districts of Balochistan, I.e., Pishin, Quetta, Sibi, khuzdar, killasaifullah, and lasbela. In the first year of the program the Interns went through a rigorous process of theory and practice. They remain in the residential course for five months where they studied and reflected on the aspects of empowerment of women in a holistic perspective. They have carried out extensive field practice fro four months, and now have sucessesfullly qualified as associate mentors. In order to fulfill the identified gape in the Intern Scheme, IDSP engaged 3 Associate mentors from said scheme, so that to learn and share in the program for stemming institutions at NWFP. Another cohort of the Program is IDSP itself, which has gained multiple levels of gender mainstreaming in its project, programs, conceptual frameworks and policies. The central cohort of 20 interns( now 16) have engaged 90 other young female interns at their respective district, where they collectively strive to launch sustainable actions with the collaboration local government , the women will play their roles in gender sensitive district
The concept is to create cadres of young women and men professionals in understanding and articulating the needs and plans of women in context of gender equity and holistic development. The two years course designed by the IDSP faculty and practitoners , helped in creating and developing a learning and educational environment .This learning process has five major elements the 120 women interns goes through, 1. Self awareness and self actualization understanding gender in development,
Articulating family support for public appearances and launching critical
discourses on women and development, 3. Establishing their offices and learning campuses in the districts with
collaboration of local government, 4 5. Establishing cadres of mentors and interns from different communities, And finally creating and piloting their own community development projects
through community mobilization.
5.4.1. Issues and challenges
The government of Pakistan ignited a process of devolution of local government to the districts of Pakistan. The districts are being empowered for the planning, development and implementation of all the development programmes of socio economic upliftment of the people. • The districts lack appropriate human resources to help the districts develop gender sensitive and improve the quality of life of its ordinary people. • The ordinary people in the districts lacks experience of working with women and men together, the role of women , in educational development, sanitation improvement, health and organizing community based learning spaces for its youth in development and education processes. • The communities lack confidence of letting their women go out in district level planning.
1. IDSP studied the situation and planed to create and develop cadres of young women in district development programs. 2. Created examples of young women as teachers, mentors, educators, speakers, writers and advisors for the district government and for its communities. 3. Launch a process of learning and education with practices in community development and linking these with district level development plans.
4. Create leadership in the young women to inspire and influence more young people to take the role in community development processes.
IDSP’S faculty invited the few community development interns from NWFP to maintain the continuity of mentoring for human resources development in traditional societies. This young group of NWFP is being prepared to replicate the lessons in NWFP. As part of practices the younger tear of IDSP organized themselves as associate mentors , they with the support of senior faculty members of IDSP designed a two year course for creating young female human resource in district planning and development. The associate mentors of IDSP teamed up with NWFP’S mentors and planned the course for implementation in two phases. The first phase of one year was to create a cohort of 20 district based women mentors in community development. In the second phase of one year these 20 trained mentors, enrolls 80 more young women as their interns from various villages of the districts. In The second year the trained 20 mentors practices their learning’s on 80 interns. The district government is updated on the practices of community development processes. The IDSP provides all the technical, conceptual, teaching and practices to the young women, to the district government, communities and to the families of the mentors and interns.
5.4.4. Outcome and results
The results are very encouraging, the 20 mentors are supported by their families to hold public meetings and give seminars on development processes of districts. In 6 districts the local government has given office spaces to the women mentors and their interns. The mentors have established their campuses with I.T. and computer trainings, resource centers.
These women mentors gives trainings to women councilors, to primary school teachers, and are working very closely with the local government in identifying needs of women to be included in the plans. Each mentor is responsible for takeing at least 4 to 5 younger women as her intern and together they work in their area for developing community development projects. Plan for NWFP is also made for starting the women’s mentoring program. With the active presence of 120 women as activists in districts the districts are unable to ignore them.
From the above mentioned experiences, it is very obvious to understand that traditional societies do not resist change just because they are conservative, backward, illiterate and against a modern society does not mean they don’t want make their lives meaningful , secure and dignified. If the options are affordable, within the control of the very people who will be effected financially, socially and personally ,then the most traditional
communities respond in most democratic and gender sensitive manner. Unfortunately in today’s rapid changing or seen to be changing Socio-economic standard of lives of the people, the majority common and ordinary communities are unsure of their choices and directions to take. We must understand that ordinary simple people are extremely insecure socially, culturally and economically. Their entire ancestral, family and traditional identity is at stake, while if they trade in their own value system for a new one then, it is their genuine concern to first ensure what they are getting in return. On the other hand experiences shows, if a detailed reflective action oriented educational processes are carried out at the pace of community’s learning and absorption capacity, the results are extraordinary in laying the foundation for vibrant and contextualized civil society. The processes of last more then 15 years finally concluded in setting up of IDSP as a study and practicing institute by the very people who were part of the projects mentioned in this paper. This institute launched a two year educational course for 120 young people of NWFP and Balochisatn.
IDSP or any project initiated the MGDC with such a large number of women from most traditional provinces before creating basis for girl’s education and communities’ experiences in sanitation, and inculcating a culture of civil society by establishing social sector organizations, it would have been a disaster. First of all 12 years ago there were no girls available with 10th or 12 grade pass needed in IDSP’s gender course. Since most of the young women engaged in the course on Main streaming gender in district development are tenth graders. Therefore they started their education in schools ten years ago, it is interesting to note that almost all entered the
primary schools that were created with community support in 1992- 93. The seeds for today’s gender program were sown by the community 12 years ago. Twelve years ago the families were not willing to send their women as teachers in government’s teachers training programs , Today, IDSP a NGO has organized two years program for 120 young women who have to travel all the time away from home , has to hold public meeting, give open seminars on injustices of social system towards women in development, but she is not only supported by her family she is encouraged by the district government to help them in their planning. The traditional communities of Balochistan demonstrated their intellectual sense with a vision, honesty of purpose, capability of being flexible to change if the options are complimentary to their scio-economic, cultural and community value system. The enrollment of more then 200 000 girls in primary schools in less then five years is a tremendous expression of their willing and readiness for a gender sensitive civil society. The people of Balochistan have defied the national stigma of last more then 50 years that traditional people of the province are against girl’s education. The reality was that decision makers from the center used to consult the decision makers of the province; it was the perception of the provincial dominant group that people of Balochistan are against girl’s education. Thus educational planning for girls was seen as a non issue and the resources were diverted to boy’s education or to other priorities of the national government. It is important to state here that during the community mobilization for girl’s education in more then 4000 villages of the province no noticeable resistance was encountered or people in general resisted girl’s education. The community gave free land, made available their young women as teachers, send them on trainings, they gave service
free of cost for months. Temporary accommodations were constructed for girl’s schools. All these contributions were made by very poor and marginalized communities. It is important to note that high drop out is emerging in these schools as the parents found out that the quality of education is not relevant to their daily life and over all change of their situation as poor and marginalized people. This shows that people are capable of making right choices. What more is needed to convince the decision makers and dominant groups that traditional societies are as much capable of creating a civil society as any one. The difference is in approaches, previously government used to open schools in one day by appointing a teacher on the basis of who ever can reach to the powerful in the government. While in the CSP approach each school took at least 20 days to initiate, the community understood that a school is a serious institution of the community. Same happened in the sanitation project where in less then a year 100 free pit latrines were give off free of cost to selected families. When such expensive services are given free to few selected ones, the ordinary people also believe that there are no values or systematic procedures for a modern way of life, therefore the simple and traditional people keep away from such ventures of show of wealth and power. When facilities for daily needs are influenced by power and wealth, the traditional people shrunk within themselves to protect their values, families and women. It is not because they are fundamental, or extra ordinary religious, but because they know they cannot afford the disintegration that comes with such materialistic elements. That is what happened when the poor school teachers did not disclosed that they have daughters with required education for being employed as government teacher. They gave the following reasons, 1. they do not have money to pay as bribe for the appointment of teachers position, secondly, they do not stand a chance against the daughters of the rich and powerful. Thirdly, even if they do get the appointment their family cannot afford to send their young women to any other part of the province due to social pressure and security reasons. Therefore, the deserving women to be teachers were kept out of promoting girls education processes. But as soon as an opportunity was provided to help them come out these women and their families not only mobilized the community but set up their school without any support from the government. All support came from the village communities. Same happened in the sanitation project, once the community could see the
relevance of sanitation with women and children and were able to afford it they became active partners in the project and more then five thousand house hold latrines were installed in less then five years, by the communities of six major squatter settlements of tribal people around Quetta. It is also interesting to see that when conflicts emerged between donors and government in both sanitation and education projects and the projects were abruptly discontinued, the young people both men and women of the province did not let the lessons go waste and do nothing . Emergence of non government organizations as civil society organizations came up. Two organizations were created out of the experiences, while two existing ones were regenerated. All these organizations were service delivery in social sector. On the basis of all the learning and performance of the NGO sector, IDSP-Pakistan came into being in 1998. It was created by the very people who were involved in these projects as community educators since 1992. This shows the intellectual energies and persistence for a viable civil society, and to create their own direction which has its own context and meaning. It is a clear message and announcement that traditional people wants to set their own pace, of learning and advancing to wards a modern system which should be their own creation. IDSP is organized and operated by the youths of tribal and traditional society; they are involved in research, teaching and launching contextual practices in the communities. One of its programs is mentioned in the paper is main streaming gender in district development. This two year course has engaged almost more the 120 young women from Balochistan and NWFP, it include some men as well. On examining this program one finds that all the lessons learnt in girl’s education and sanitation projects are incorporated. The vulnerability caused by sudden closure of project in the young people of the province is being addressed in IDSP. Although a long way but what else could have been the way to create and develop bases for a meaningful civil society with women as equal player in a traditional societies. The lessons are that decision makers, scholars, experts, funding and powerful dominant groups, of national and international government and non government organizations, are in great rush to change the lives of the people to suit their own prescription of modernization.
Unfortunately, their own research shows that they do not have absolute or maximum positive results of their version of modernization. One reaches to the conclusion that it is a very high powered vested interest dominant group, who is in great hurry to control all kinds of processes that helps evolve a viable, contextualized and meaningful civil society, in most marginalized populations of the world.
7. Way forward.
It is the need of the time that communities must be well organized, well informed, and must have skills to deal with ruthless ways of marginalization of the ordinary people of poor countries. There are numerous models across the world where ordinary people have managed to assert their view point and have created decent living spaces for them and for their generations to come. The hope is from gender sensitive programmes in all aspects of emerging civil society. Pakistan being in a very difficult situation needs to be well understood by the power structures that a cosmetic civil society will not solve any thing, there is need to create forums, more long term experiential learning spaces must be created. The youth of Pakistan are majority population therefore programs and policies of development must be enable this energy to play its role effectively in the interest of its generation to come. Government policies must be facilitating rather then controlling, as we saw in the projects that when Government facilitated the results were very positive. One very strong lesson is that more learning projects as MGDC will help to demystify the perceptions of men and women working together for a common goal. The most fundamental is the education in schools, schools where children of masses goes must be redesigned it is completely irrelevant to the needs of the people, to the country or to the world. This education is not in support of civil society but it is to create major obstacles for a meaningful social, economic and political life. A very dangerous game is being played with the children of ordinary, common and simple people of Pakistan. This will ultimately affect all where ever they are.
With the active support of community, processes were developed of intensive community education, cadres of education promoters were created from within the traditional people 29
of the province. These young local women and women launched processes of educational discourses with the tribal and traditional communities across the province. A mechanism of community support was created which was used to establish 1800 girls schools ,with its own resources ,later the government ownership came in. more then 2000 young women from the villages came up to be teachers and social mobilize of their communities to set up their schools. Employment as teachers shifted from male to female for girl’s schools. And so did the education structure of the government. Cadres of young women and men assisted the community and the government in creating and developing partnerships for the promotion of girl’s education. Village education committees became community based institution for girl’s education. Later the same young human resource of women and men reflected on their experiences and created a National institution for human resource development based in Balochistan. This institution is called Institute for Development Studies and Practices (IDSP)-Pakistan. One of the major programmes of IDSP is mainstreaming gender in district based development in Balochistan where 120 young women are engaged with district government in development plans. These young women have gone through a process of learning and education in self awareness, and self actualization, taking family support and emerging as community activists , and developing practices that expresses women’s needs in district based plans.
Results and strategies for future
The province has opened up for women in gender development, the enrollment of girls has increased in schools, and young women are influencing young women to play their role in the development of themselves and their community. More women are now trying to understand religion then to follow a so called religious leaders, a research mind is emerging in the local traditional women along with the support of their men and families. Future strategies are to create a critical mass of young people of Balochistan. to influence policies and education processes, to address issues for women focus planning in devolution of local government. To be able to launch challenges against injustices in society and to build a civil society starting from their own reality. This will help build institutions with gender sensitivities. 30
Community education processes address the challenges in gender based development in much more comprehensively then the conventional education alone. Tradition societies take care of most of the unforeseen issues or major problems if a conflicting situation arises. Women from outside are highly respected and well expected if she know what she is doing and has understanding of basic human dignity and acceptance and is not playing for a donor agenda. Understanding of Islam and its application in a scholarly way is essential for being effective in the processes. Need to establish a process of learning, mentoring and extending women’s activitstism that demonstrates change , or befits to the whole society, isolation must be broken and a collective .
SPDC annual review, 2002-3
Report: NWFP Primary Education Project, Third Party Evaluation of the Interns’ Scheme: Phase 1(Pilot) June 2001 Page, 28
Acknowledgement ..............................................................................................................2 This paper is an outcome of extensive involvement in the several processes of development at Balochistan; consisting of continuous dialogue and mobilization in approximately 4000 villages of almost all the ethnic, cultural, tribal and geographical representation. I (Quratulain) remained in the field for hundred of hours in the scattered clusters of the province, I found every where an unconditional love, respect, trust and cooperation in the population, which the mainstream development discards as underdeveloped and illiterates. ...........................................................................................2 Taking this opportunity as a great favor of fortune and paying gratitude to Allah, while acknowledging these tribal, cultural and ethnic people of Balochistan. ..............................2 Taking these operations into the extensive challenging areas of Balochistan acknowledgement of all the young people who led a process of change on the basis of their tireless efforts and commitment is very necessary. Similarly, special thanks to all the management, field, administrative staff and drivers of several organizations with whom I (Quratulain) worked in the span of my 17 years at Balochsitan. ...........................2 Raking this opportunity I(Barkat Shah ) will acknowledge the continuous efforts and support of the first tier faculty member of IDSP, who shared the space with the second tier faculty with utmost honesty and kindness and this is because of their trust in the young faculty member for experiencing the learning diversity at program, mainstreaming gender in development. ........................................................................................................2 We are also thankful to ROZAN and MUBRIZA for allowing me to write a paper in the very short while finally I am thankful to the support of IDSP faculty members, and administrative staff for actualizing this opportunity as a real one for me. ..........................2 The acknowledgement of all the associate mentors, parents of interns, families, and communities cannot be neglected, we, the authors are extremely thankful to them. ..........2 Authors:................................................................................................................................2 1. Title: processes of educational development in traditional societies: experiences from Balochistan Pakistan ............................................................................................................3 2. Introduction ....................................................................................................................3 3. OVER VIEW OF BALOCHISTAN’S SOCIETY: .........................................................4 3.1. Traditional values..........................................................................................................4 3.2. Socio economic situation. .............................................................................................6 3.3. SITUATION OF EDUCATION ..................................................................................6 3.4.HEALTH........................................................................................................................7 3.5.ENVIRONMENT ..........................................................................................................8 3.7. GOVERNANCE ..........................................................................................................8 4. MAIN ARGUMENT. .....................................................................................................9
5. EXPERIENCES OF EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN BALOCHISTAN: ........9 5.1. Sanitation and hygiene education and practices. .......................................................10 5.1.1. Issues and challenges. ..........................................................................................10 18.104.22.168 Options and Approaches ......................................................................................11 22.214.171.124 Processes ........................................................................................................11 126.96.36.199. Results and out comes. ..........................................................................................13 5.2. Community support for girl’s education in rural areas. ..............................................14 5.2.1. Issues and Challenges ..............................................................................................15 5.2.2 Options and Approaches .....................................................................................15 5.3.2.Process ......................................................................................................................16 5.2.4. Results and outcome. ............................................................................................19 5.3. Towards Institutionalization: Establishment of Institute for Development Studies and Practices-Pakistan.: .....................................................................................................20 5.4. Mainstreaming gender in district development plan in the devolved local government structure. ........................................................................................................21 5.4.1. Issues and challenges ...............................................................................................23 5.4.2. Approaches ...........................................................................................................23 5.4.3. Processes: .................................................................................................................24 5.4.4. Outcome and results...............................................................................................24 6. CONCLUSIONS: ..........................................................................................................25 7. Way forward. ................................................................................................................29 8. Results and strategies for future ....................................................................................30