The Tent School

Author:
Malaika Fawad
|
Publish Date:
May 23, 2019

The Tent School – an idea that turned into a dream- a dream of giving
access to education among the most underprivileged class of our country.
It is an educational project that pushes us to think about the importance of
the provision of education to all the children, and to put in the efforts to
provide it to the underprivileged children who cannot even afford to buy the
shoes to wear!
Yes it is a social start-up and does not focus on earning money, but the
cause that it is serving holds great significance especially in our country
where almost 25 million children are out of school!
The mission of the Tent School is “education for all”, and their core purpose
is to impart quality education to the underprivileged children, focused on
enhancing their thinking capability and problem solving skills. It
discourages the culture of rote learning, as followed in many schools in
Pakistan, and focuses on encouraging the students to question more and
think out of the box. The basic inspiration of the school’s founder,
Zulqarnain Jameel was to do something for such students who are not
considered as bright students according to the grading systems in school
and are tagged as ‘incompetent’, based on their grades. ‘I was always a
low achiever in school myself, but I strongly believe that everybody has
their own skill-set that is different from others and they can achieve a lot in
their lives, if they are guided in the right direction and encouraged to excel.’
The Tent School started in 2014, when Zulqarnain realized that he should
do something to educate the children belonging to the slum areas in
Islamabad. These children who have equally creative and intuitive minds,
are deprived of even the basic education, just because they cannot afford
to pay their school fees. Zulqarnain had to leave his job to pursue his vision
and started the school with 2 Tablet PCs, a laptop, and some volunteer
teachers. This mission of educating these children got even stronger after
seeing the motivation and drive of these children, who were keen to learn
and know. ‘One of the students completed the grade 2 mathematics
curriculum within 2 months. Such results motivated me to keep working’,
says Zulqarnain.
Zulqarnain turned his dream of educating the children of the slum areas of
Islamabad into reality only on the basis of utter dedication and devotion.

The school was demolished twice, but he did not give up and started the
school again in 2018, in a room big space. It was very difficult and
challenging to start the journey again, but Zulqarnain’s passion and
commitment encouraged him to keep going and today he has over 90
students who are getting free education in the Tent School.
‘All of the students are very motivated to continue their educational journey
and they come to school every day upon their wish and desire’, says
Zulqarnain.
These students, belonging to the most underprivileged segment of the
society, can prove to be far more productive for the society than the
privileged and wealthy class, only if they are given the right direction and
guidance.
‘We plan to have at least three more centers for the Tent School, by the
end of 2019’, says Zulqarnain.
The Tent School is the perfect example of never giving up, no matter how
many hurdles you face or how many times you fall. Just keep the journey
going!

 

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