NGO Profile: Kaghan Memorial Trust

DOCTOR OF EDUCATION PROGRAM: Contemporary Approaches to Educational Problems – Ed 855.716: Spring 2014

Name of Organization URL Contact Information Email Skype and Phone: Location Focus
CONTEXT

Kaghan Memorial Trust http://www.kmt.org.pk/ Katy Noble, Senior Programme Officer katy.noble@kmt.org.pk Skype: Katy Noble Tel: (0092-51) 843 6973, 843 6974 Pakistan Education in Emergencies

Our Education programme was launched at KMS in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake of October 2005. The institution shall have an enrolment of around 400 children for the 2014 Academic Year starting in March, from Kindergarten to Grade 6. The student strength at the School will continue to expand by 68 children each year until it reaches its capacity of over 900 children in the year 2021. Most of the children enrolled in KMS were directly affected by the earthquake, with many of them having lost one or both parents as well as other close family members. The destruction and damage caused by the earthquake also further exacerbated the extreme poverty in the Kaghan Valley where most of the population has been living at a hand-to-mouth level of existence for generations. Our mission does not stop at education alone. The Trustees of KMT are concerned about the overall well being of the students, and they are therefore taking a holistic approach to the upbringing of each child at KMS. This approach includes taking care of their medical needs, providing them with daily school meals (to counter the rampant malnutrition prevalent amongst most of the children in the Kaghan Valley), supplying them with school uniforms, winter warmers and educational materials, and providing them with transport to and from school. As with the education, all of these additional services are provided by the School completely free of cost. We believe this approach to education is not only filling a huge gap left by both the earthquake’s destruction and the poor standard of government schooling, but is also an innovative approa ch in the region. We would like to explore the range of international research and case studies highlighting the use of schools as teacher training hubs / mentoring centres in poorly-resourced regions, focusing on the empowerment of female teachers as role models . This would inform our plans for KMS to become an innovative, regional training hub for local schools and teachers and help us develop a theory of change. KMT stakeholders include local teachers, volunteer international teachers, the 400 students, the families of the students and local community in which the school is located. KMT partners include UNICEF, the Asia Foundation, Deutsche Bank, Air Blue, and various embassies in Islamabad (Polish, Swiss, Australian, Spanish, Dutch and Turkish).

THE CHALLENGE

The Challenge, continued….
While conducting the study, we need for our school’s model and particular situation to be understood and taken into account. A teacher-training hub in a city or a developed region is fundamentally different from what we are looking at setting up in the remote Kaghan Valley. Some of our challenges are:  Practically no internet access in the Kaghan Valley - Our school has slow internet through an expensive satellite link, but the other schools (government and non-government), whose teachers we want to help by training them, have no such access and will have none for the foreseeable future; Erratic telephone connectivity – non-existent in some parts of the valley i.e. in some of the schools whose teachers we intend to train; Transportation difficulties between the remote mountainous settlements of the valley i.e. challenges in transporting teachers from various schools to our campus on a regular/routine basis; The difficulty of finding qualified and competent teacher trainers in such a remote area; The lack of resources available, in their respective schools, to the teachers that we intend to train; The financing element in such training programmes – how does it get paid for? The teachers themselves cannot afford to pay fees and therefore KMT will have to raise the funds for this activity as well as all the educational and other programmes that we run through the Kaghan Memorial School.

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