Kashmiri children appeal
KARACHI, May 25: Kashmiri children mainly girls have made a passionate appeal to the Muslim Ummah to help them continue with their studies against the difficult situations they are exposed to in the aftermath of devastation they had experienced a few months ago.
These students in a letter addressing the resourceful Muslim community settled along the Arabian Sea reiterated the significance of quality education for all Muslim children, without gender or racial discrimination.
The letter, which these students handed to the coordinator, has been sealed in a bottle to be floated on the shores of Karachi with the hope that it reaches the people of the Gulf States, ultimately helping the Kashmiri children to get the much needed and urgently required assistance.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Kashmir Education Foundation, Maj-Gen (Retd) Rahim Khan, addressing a press conference said the foundation was established in 1994 as a voluntary, non-profit, non-political NGO. It was certified by the Pakistan Center for Philanthropy, he said.
Mr Khan mentioned that the KEF was currently registered in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan and the United Kingdom, opening new doors for children hailing from the poorest sections of society.
This is does by establishing schools offering state-of-the-art and highest standards of learning in the rural villages of Rawalakot (AJK) and Bisali (Islamabad).
He said it was headed by a 12-member board of trustees, infused with a mission to create role models and community leaders out of talented children constituting the deprived populations in the north.
Rahim Khan said the KEF was focusing on developing bright children from rural areas in the hope of enabling them to compete successfully in leadership stakes with children from elite schools by making highest standard of education accessible to the vulnerable, particularly the female population.
In this regard, he said that 700 more model schools were required in each district and cities while 20 teachers training institutes were required to provide skilled and trained teachers.
He said that, inspired by outstanding education system, the Lahore University of Management Sciences and Lahore School of Economics had offered the KEF students free of cost higher education in mentioned institutes after completing schooling.
John Atkinson, a renowned British educationist and Director of KEF’s Institute of Teacher's Education in Bisali, talking to journalists on Thursday said students, mainly girls, belonging to the under-privileged strata of society, had their right to education and a dignified life.
These students are presently enrolled with different educational institutions of the Kashmir Education Foundation (KEF), a non-profit organization running its schools in Rawalakot (Azad Kashmir) and Bisali (Islamabad).
Selfless and dedicated teachers from the United Kingdom, Australia and other parts of the world have offered their services to teach these kids, but there is an ever growing number of these children, and funds are also required to manage and sustain these institutions.
Ms Atkinson said there were four other master trainers from the UK presently on the faculty of the Institute of Teacher Education, and the pedagogy skilled imparted to trainee teachers would transform them into top quality teachers for English medium primary schools.
Young graduates are encouraged to seek training at the institute and serve their community, she urged.
Air Marshal Aftab Raja, Principal, Pearl Valley Public School, Raja mentioned that the Pearl Valley Public School had secured a class average of 80 per cent in the matriculation exams thus ranking number seven out of 157 schools across the country.
The foundation's trustees including Nadeem Shafiqullah and Asif Habib Khan were also present.