Improving primary schools in Pakistan

Working with 14 schools in the Vehari District of Pakistan to improve attendance and create a child-friendly environment for girls and boys.

Children in Pakistan

The need

Three million children in Pakistan will never attend a single lesson at school. Literacy rates are low and 25 million children do not get a sufficient education. Overall 46% of the country is literate, and only 26% of girls are literate. 

Schools in the Vehari District were not adequate. Some had no boundary walls so children felt unsafe, there were limited toilet facilities, poor hygiene systems and classes were often taught outside in extreme heat, cold and rain. 

What we achieved 

With partner Plan International, our 2013 project aimed to create child-friendly learning environments at 14 primary schools and help thousands of children access quality education.

The project successfully:

  • Constructed classrooms with verandas at 14 primary schools 
  • Supported more than 4,000 children
  • Built 14 toilet blocks with handwashing facilities 
  • Renovated boundary walls
  • Improved water and sanitation facilities. 

The impact

At these schools, teaching resources have improved, enrolment has grown and more girls are receiving a primary school education. New toilet blocks and boundary walls mean that girls in particular now feel safe enough to come to school and children do not have to travel home to use the toilet. 

Usman, headteacher at one of the schools, said:

“Because all the issues of protection and sanitation were resolved, parents gradually started to send their children to the school. After the improvement of the school, parents even enrolled their girls in the boys’ school, without any discrimination.”

Highlights three years on:

  • Average enrolment across the schools has increased by 17% 
  • 23% increase in girls enrolling
  • 146% increase in enrolment for one school. 

Student Mujtaba, said:

“My main reason for re-admission in the school was due to rehabilitation of latrine. In our school when our washrooms were not functional. I often left school to use the toilet in my house, this was affecting on my study. [Since the project] I did not miss a single day of school.”