Sajid's story: Opportunity
Cost for a Better Tomorrow
the cold, his severe headaches and
his own family's poverty, seven-year-old
Sajid is determined to one day become
an electrician. Thanks to HDF's school
in his village of Bagh killi, he may
get this opportunity.
The Human Development Foundation's
school in Bagh killi has been operational since April 24, 1999. Sajid is one
its earliest students.
Before attending this school,
he was unable to receive any formal education because, like many, many children,
his parents could not afford to send he and his older brother to school. Sajid
is part of a poor family. His father is a farm worker and his mother stays at
home to look after the home and children. His aunt (father's sister) is unmarried
and lives with them. She also works in the fields especially during the sugarcane
harvest season and contributes to family income.
Sajid has three brothers.
His older one, who is nine, accompanies him to school and they are in the same
Sajid is considered to be
the brightest student of the whole lot. But the school he attends still has
problems. For example, it is located in a battered old one-room mud building.
During the cold winters, his class of 22 boys sits outside in the sun on mats
made of old jute bags. Books are provided to them free of cost by the program
and so are the black board, chalk and educational charts. Boys sit extremely
close to each other to fight off the extreme cold with their body-generated
heat. They are not even adequately clothed against the winter chill. Most of
the children's noses run because of the cold.
But despite these conditions,
Sajid and his fellow students are determined to attend school, since this is
the only opportunity in their village to receive formal education.
For Sajid, it's the only
way he can fulfill his dream of becoming a bijligar (electrician) one day, as
he keeps telling his siblings and cousins.
Being the brightest student,
Sajid is regularly called over to the blackboard by his teacher to recite his
lessons and make fellow students recite after him. His favorite subject in school
is English and the poem book "Kirnay" and "rays". He loves
to recite, especially on the "Takhti" (board) and prefers to use ink
pen (like his teacher) as compared to a pencil.
In HDF's schools, one teacher
teaches children of different age groups ranging anywhere from 5 years to 10
years. The curriculum is the same as the government schools. But while the curriculum
is the same, the teaching method isn't. Instead of the traditional "memorization"
method, HDF's schools emphasize "joyful and activity based learning".
As well, teachers are trained in a teaching program before they begin dealing
with their students.
Sajid loves learning so
much., his school books are worn out by this intelligent boy's constant leafing.
He carries them in a home-made cloth bag.
But the cold weather is
not the only obstacle Sajid has to overcome in getting an education. Severe
headaches are another. In accident when he was young, he hit his head against
a wagon. Now he gets headaches from time to time and cannot bear anyone making
a racket. Despite this problem though, his teacher says he is one of the brightest
students in his school.
Sajid's parents would like
to educate him as much as possible within their meager resources but poverty
was the main reason they were previously unable to educate their sons. HDF's
school has given them the opportunity to fulfill their dream of educating their
children so they can build a good life for themselves.
With reporting by Zeb Rifaqa,
Date/Time Last Modified: 6/17/2002 4:35:45 PM
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