By Adnan Zainul Abideen
The Aga Khan Education Service (AKES), aided by its vast network of schools, has been playing a significant role in the provision of quality education to the youth – boys and girls – of the region from grassroots level.
AKES schools have been imparting early childhood development (ECD) to the higher secondary level education from the time when education was considered a luxury, to be afforded only by the affluent and lucky ones.
Apart from the primary level and high schools established by the AKES, which have been the harbinger of promoting women’s education, the higher secondary schools for girls in Kuragh Upper Chitral and for boys in Seenlasht Lower Chitral have become centers of excellence, and thus have revolutionized the schooling system in the district.
One of the extraordinary aspects of the higher secondary schools is that they have replaced the traditional rot learning method with the conceptual approach abreast with the trailblazing and modern-day educational system. The unparalleled achievements of the two higher secondary schools can be judged from the fact that, majority of the graduates have achieved excellence in different fields, but not limited to academia and superior services of Pakistan. They are proudly representing Chitral globally as well as in the country. Besides, many of the graduates are pursuing their higher studies in different top-ranking universities around the globe.
Building on the vision and mission of the AKDN, and to outspread the higher secondary schools’ network with the aim to provide accessibility of quality education to the far-flung areas of Chitral, the AKES Pakistan recently inaugurated the groundbreaking of three more AKES schools in different locations of Booni, Mastuj and Buzund of Upper Chitral. This is a step of remarkable stature, and the news has spread joy and exuberance among the community members, for which the AKES Pakistan and the management of regional office Chitral deserve higher appreciation and acknowledgment. It indeed will go a long way in expanding the quality education to the remote areas, thereby transforming the lives of the community at large.
However, having said that, I want to communicate the sentiments and aspirations of the communities of Morder, Kosht and Mulkhow of Upper Chitral and at the same time stress upon the management of AKES with the hope that, they would pay heed to the request in an opportune time. The communities residing in the mentioned areas are educated and that, there is a high school in Morder and Middle schools in Muzdeh Kosht, and Saht, Mulkhow, that are run by AKES. The plans for the upgradation of middle school in Saht Mulkhow to high school is underway, and the land for the construction of building has also been procured. Moreover, there is a state-of-the-art ECD center in Morder, established by one of the NGOs working in Chitral, wherein a private ECD center currently operates. In addition to that, Morder also owns a Community Learning and Resource Center (CLRC), which is equipped with Modern computers, printer, and other advanced gadgets to be used by the community members.
The schools cater to the requirements of the area, yet the need of the Higher Secondary school has long been felt and needed. It is therefore requested to the management of AKES to look into the matter and make plans to expand the network of secondary schools to Morder and Mulkhow in the next phase. That would pave the way for the youth of the area to have access to the center of excellence and the initiative would hence help change their collective fortune.
It is thus hoped that the esteemed management of the AKES while keeping up with the legacy would pay attention to the request and make arrangements to include the above-mentioned locations for the establishment of AKES in near future.