The UNHCR in collaboration with USAID has provided furniture to 26 government run schools in Quetta where some 14,800 students, both Pakistani and Afghan refugees have benefited. The schools were selected after a joint assessment carried out by UNHCR and the provincial education department of Balochistan. Killi Alam Khan is one of the twenty-six government schools where the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) provided furniture.
Nine year-old Nadia Abdul Waris a student of the school attends the classes with enthusiasm since her school has received new sets of furniture for students. ‘Sitting on the floor was very uncomfortable and I always wished to go to a well-furnished school as shown on TV,’ says the fourth grade student of government girls high school, Killi Alam Khan in Balochistan capital, Quetta.
Nadia and her four best friends now love their fully furnished, bright classroom and colourful school building. The girls feel more comfortable during their classwork and enjoy not sitting on the floor.
The principal of Nadia’s school, Qaisra Naseem, stated that the majority of students in her school are underprivileged having limited access to the basic facilities of life. She noted that school facilities can have a profound impact on both teacher and student outcomes and contribute greatly to improved learning environment. Ms Naseem and her staff with limited resources took on the initiative of improving the overall look of school by decorating the walls involving the students.
‘The provision of furniture will encourage more girls to attend school as well as send a positive message to the community for the promotion of girls’ education.’ she noted. The doors of the government girls high school, Killi Alam Khan, are open equally to children from Pakistani as well as Afghan refugees residing in Quetta. Nadia’s best friend, Sahiba Agha is an Afghan refugee born in Pakistan. Just like the rest of her classmates, she too loves the new look of her classroom.
The furniture included sets of 1,125 two seater desks and benches, 105 teacher chairs, 105 teacher tables, 105 rostrums, 105 staff room tables, 630 staff room teacher chairs, 900 tables and chairs for students, 450 computer tables, 30 teacher tables for computer labs, 30 side-racks.—INP