Zindagi Trust's Paid to Learn program, spanning 18 impactful years, aimed to educate working children from urban slums in Pakistan. Through an accelerated two-year course, it offered primary education to street vendors, store or factory helpers, and auto-repair workers across Rawalpindi, Lahore, and Karachi. To motivate and offset their lost wages, the children received a scholarship stipend upon completing each term, providing them with a valuable incentive to pursue education while breaking the cycle of laborious lives.
Regional academic coordinators played a vital role in the Paid to Learn program by recruiting working children from major slums in Rawalpindi, Lahore, and Karachi. After engaging with parents and employers, the children were registered as students and embarked on an intensive two-year and two-month accelerated course, focusing on primary education.
Additionally, the program provided sponsorship for exceptional graduates to continue their education in mainstream secondary schools, covering admission fees, monthly expenses, textbooks, stationery, and uniforms.
Regional academic coordinators recruited working children from major slums in Rawalpindi, Lahore, and Karachi, engaging with parents and employers. As registered students, the children underwent an intensive two-year and two-month accelerated course, providing primary education.
The program further supported exceptional graduates by sponsoring their enrollment in mainstream secondary schools, covering admission fees, monthly expenses, and essential educational resources like textbooks, stationery, and uniforms.
Throughout the journey of the Paid to Learn program, we have gathered valuable lessons that have shaped our approach and highlighted areas for improvement. These insights include:
As we strive to drive mass change through government school reform, we will always hold a special place in our hearts for the Paid to Learn program. Prior to transitioning, our regional academic coordinators ensured that our graduates seamlessly continued their education in private secondary schools, with ongoing support for their journey towards Matriculation, without any financial burden. We take immense pride in hearing from our graduates who have not only completed high school but have even pursued higher education at college and university levels. Their stories continue to inspire us as we remain committed to empowering more children and creating a brighter future for all.
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Ali Raza studies in the 5th grade at a Zindagi Trust School in Lahore. He never misses school and...Read More
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