Education

GULALAI - EDUCATION

Gulalai, a student of grade 1 in GGPS Gogdara, Swat and belongs to a very ordinary family, who has no means to support her education and instead relied on her to bring home extra money for household expenses. Keeping in view the financial condition of her family, it was beyond their capacity to take an interest in her education or even to support it. With a lack of attention and encouragement from her parents, in addition to the responsibility of bringing home money, Gulalai never completely understood the significance of education and had no interest in school. Being a student of grade 1 and a child of 6 years, Gulalai, spent her remaining part of the day as a sweeper for other households in the area which led to her being absent regularly from school.  On the days that she did manage to come, she would show up in an unkempt condition and struggled to catch up with the lessons she had missed. She was not on the same level as her class fellows. When her attendance dropped significantly, the school administration saw no other way out of the situation and expelled her from the school. The decision did not impact her much and she was more than happy to just focus on cleaning houses and brining home cash to help out her parents because no effort was ever made to develop her interest in school.

During this time, DOSTI was introduced in her school. Her class fellows were very excited about the program and relayed interesting details of their school day to her, which included the adventures of DOSTI characters and the many games they were now able to play during a regular school day. This, for the first time, piqued Gulalai’s interest and felt that she was missing out on a significant part of her childhood by dropping out of school. All this motivation gave her the courage to speak with her parents, and begin the long process of convincing them to send her back to school. She told her parents about all the interesting and fun activities that her friends took part in during their school day. Her constant and at times stubborn pursuit coupled with her increased interest in school finally bore fruit and the day finally came when her mother accompanied her to school for registration. Remembering her past attitude towards education, the head-teacher asked Gulalai, why would this time be any different? To this Gulalai very confidently replied that she wants to have the same experience of learning as her friends, and shared the many stories she had heard of DOSTI from them. 

Gulalai has been attending school regularly since then; she participates actively in not just DOSTI sessions but also her regular lessons. Following the footsteps of the DOSTI Characters, she has started taking extra care of her hygiene and enjoys her school day like the other children of her age.