Education

Short history

Beginning.

When Felix Iñurrategi-Baltistan Fundazioa (today Baltistan Fundazioa) decided in 2006 to make a diagnosis of the educational reality of the Hushe valley, the panorama was devastating. In addition to the lack of infrastructure and no teacher training, there was also a lack of social recognition of education. The few existing schools included a minimum of classrooms in very poor condition, lacking furniture and minimum services, including bathrooms or running water. Not surprisingly, the school enrollment rate was 48% between the ages of 3 and 15 and not more than 30% for girls.

From that moment on, guaranteeing access to education for all the girls and boys of the Hushé Valley has been, together with the necessary improvement of infrastructures and teacher training, one of the strategic lines on which Baltistan Fundazioa's cooperation project has revolved.

Munawar School.JPG

In its development, the interrelation with the parents of the Munawar School of Machulu has been fundamental,as they worried about the painful educational reality of the Valley and united to create a school of social initiative to educate their childrenin the best possible way. The school, with an enrollment of about 100 children (very few girls) and hardly any infrastructure (without toilets) was the starting point of the project.

The lines of work were diverse but converging in a single objective: that all children in the Valley have access to education.

  • A system of free education for girls was established with the double objective that all of them, and consequently all of the children, would be enrolled in school. The system used, still in force, has been the sale of annual "vouchers" for 50€ which cover the schooling costs of a girl during a school year. This system is extended to orphans or children from families without economic resources.
  • A system of scholarships for higher and university education was implemented, in which more than 150 young people (boys and girls) have been able to access studies that have enabled them to work as teachers, managers, accountants, health professionals... All of them were required to have a minimum of two years of work in the valley, and most of them work today in the same valley.
  • Temporary funding was provided for school transport from the 5th grade (Munawar did not teach higher levels) so that those who wanted to continue their studies could move to Khapulu, and also for winter reinforcement courses due to the low level that the students of the Valley had at that time.
  • In collaboration with the AgaKhan University of Gilgit (PDCN), teacher training courses have been organised.
  • Land and/or classroom cessions were obtained from the Administration to improve existing infrastructures.

 

Current reality.

The dynamism of the educational project has meant that more and more schools of social and state initiative have adhered to the project born in the Munawar School and led by the educational community and Felix Foundation Baltistan, and promoted and financed from the beginning by Baltistan Fundazioa.  In 2019 there are 10 schools in all the localities of the valley that adhered to the project.

Bigarren Hezkuntzako eskola Matxulon

Today we can say that the schools in the Hushe valley enjoy a social prestige that was non-existent when we started with this line of work.

The schooling up to the 5th grade is practically 100%, very high in secondary and what is more important, there are more and more students who advance up to the higher levels.

In collaboration with the administration, the Valley has been provided with adequate educational infrastructures. We have built 8 classrooms for secondary education and we have provided bathrooms and water to all the centres that were not part of the project.

At the same time, we have included in the curriculum subjects related to cleaning, health and hygiene, and we have started with other activities such as: school sports, summer trips, "keep your village clean", and have reinforced others such as Mathematics and English.

Latest enrollment.

The enrollment data for 2019 are significant: Those 100 boys and girls enrolled in 2006 in Munawar and who were taught in a playground, are currently (2019) 1.595 students, 847 girls, in 10 schools in the 8 communities of the Valley and have decent infrastructures and dedicated teachers.

Azken urtetako bilakaera

 

Hearing and / or speech disabilities.

Finally, in 2015, we started a program of schooling for children with hearing and / or speech disabilities who we are forced to school in a boarding school in Skardu due to the lack of professionals in the Valley. At present there are ten children (six boys and four girls) who enjoy this possibility, without which they would never have had access to the education system.

possibility without which they would never have had access to the education system.