Education

Education has become one of the focal points of our cooperation in the Hushe valley. An exhaustive field study carried out by Baltistan Fundazioa volunteers in 2006 covering all the communities of the Hushe Valley allowed us to detect a very worrying reality.

Education has become one of the focal points of our cooperation in the Hushe valley. An exhaustive field study carried out by Baltistan Fundazioa volunteers in 2006 covering all the communities of the Hushe Valley allowed us to detect a very worrying reality. Education lacked social prestige and the interest of the population in educating their children was nil, either because of lack of means, or because of lack of confidence in a very deficient educational system alien to the Balti reality, or because the population did not perceive the need for access to education.

In fact, the schooling levels between three and 15 years old were 48% in general and in the case of girls 30% very alarming figures that encouraged Baltistan Fundazioa to deepen in this new line of work trying to promote the necessary transformation through the education of all the children of the Valley.

At that time, the region was abandoned by the Pakistani administration, and the state of the educational infrastructure could be defined as scarce, insufficient and very deficient.

The few existing schools and classrooms were in very bad condition, most of them lacked bathrooms and toilets, did not have adequate recreational and leisure spaces, the classrooms were dirty and unhealthy, there were no adequate equipment, no furniture or consumables, and the level and professionalism of the teachers was very low.

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Not surprisingly, in the face of this picture, family awareness was also low and confidence in school and education was, with exceptions, non-existent.

The idea of promoting a far-reaching educational reform quickly found an ally in the families of the Munawar School in Machulo.

This group of conscientious parents had created a one-room social initiative school attended by one hundred children, many of whose classes were held in a dirt yard. The school materials were non-existent and the students were taught sitting on the sandy ground.

The collaboration between Baltistan Fundazioa, Felix Foundation Baltistan and Munawar school was materialized in the joint development of the following lines:

1.Implementation of a new pedagogical model in Munawar with the support of UK-PDCN, one of the most prestigious institutions in Pakistan in Education. This model has been gradually extended to the rest of the schools in the valley.
2.financing teacher training in the facilities of UK-PDCN, a university located in Gilgit, and later the construction of a training centre -already finished- in the same Valley, specifically in Machulo.
3.Financing the costs of teaching girls to increase their schooling.
4.Scholarship programme for higher education for young people from the whole valley. This is where the future teachers come from.
5.School transport to Khapulu from different towns, daily, for secondary schooling.
6.Reinforcement classes during winter holidays to improve English, math and science levels.


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50 Euros to ensure the cost of the school year for a girl.

This was the path we chose to encourage families to send their girls to school. The objective was twofold: access for girls to education under free conditions in any school (this is also valid for children from families with scarce resources), and through a contagion effect, access for all children to education by assuming their costs in social initiative schools or under free conditions in state schools.

Thanks to the disinterested collaboration of persons and institutions that through the "purchase of vouchers" have taken charge of the schooling of orphaned children or those with insufficient economic resources every year.

In addition, more schools have joined the educational system promoted by Felix Foundation Baltistan in collaboration with Baltistan Fundazioa. In 2018 there were ten schools in all the communities of the valley. Some of them are social initiatives and others, the least, are state owned.

To give us an idea of the evolution in 2006, the enrolment in the Primary English Public School was 24 girls and 81 boys. In 2014 there were already 893 enrolments in 8 schools attached to the programme, of which 466 were girls and 427 boys, reaching in 2019 an enrolment of 1595 with 847 girls and 748 boys. Our contribution in 2019 has been the guarantee of free education for 847 girls and 123 orphans or children without economic resources. Using an agricultural simile we are sowing so that society will reap the fruits in the future.

At this time our greatest efforts are directed towards the implementation of secondary education in the valley. In addition, the good results obtained mean that the massive reinforcements in


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At this time our greatest efforts are devoted to the implementation of secondary education in the valley. In addition, the good results obtained mean that massive reinforcements during the winter holidays are no longer necessary as the school level is comparable to that of other schools in Pakistan.

University or secondary school scholarships.

This is one of the lines of work to highlight because the economic aid to young people in the valley who do not have the resources to study at university or secondary school has brought knowledge to the valley insofar as it has provided it with professionals capable of contributing in different areas.

The scholarships imply a commitment to work for two years in the different projects, mainly in health-hygiene and education. This has also allowed the projects to get feedback.

During all these years about 100 girls and boys from the valley have had access to different studies


Scholarships for girls with hearing and/or speech disabilities.

In the Hushe valley, as in so many areas of the world, the disability is discriminated against and furthermore punished without access to education. There are no specialized teachers and educating a disabled person is a cost that families are not willing to assume. There are no specialised centres and the solution that has been found for some of these girls has been to send them to school in Skardu, 4 hours from the nearest towns in the Valley, as boarders in a school that is run by a couple of teachers who are the parents of two deaf-mute girls. The high cost of the programme is a barrier to all girls with disabilities of any kind being adequately catered for.

Education is a cross-cutting issue.


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Education is a cross-cutting issue.

Teaching and education have not been limited to the school setting. We can say that we have promoted knowledge and learning in all areas, sectors and activities. We have trained women in food processing and transformation, in languages, in the manufacture of clothes, we have trained women in the area of health, in computer science, men in mountain techniques and safety in the same, farmers in the knowledge of new seeds and techniques, and on the other hand we have introduced ideas in schools about human rights and habits of cleanliness and health.

All this with the idea of reaching a more modern society, with greater knowledge, and more culturally trained and in the recognition of human rights.