The Society for Community Strengthening and Promotion of Education, Balochistan (SCSPEB) seeks to promote human development by utilizing community mobilization strategies to establish government-community partnerships. Society realizes that promoting education as a whole, especially that for girls, requires support from all stakeholders: parents, community,schools, education department and local government. It is only through the active interest and sense of shared responsibility of such stakeholders that access to and quality of education can be ensured.
Over the years, Society has used this aim and vision in its work. In 2001, SCSPEB received the prestigious UN Award, from the UN Systems in Pakistan, for its inspirational contribution to promoting female education in the remote rural areas of Balochistan and developing the Community Support Process (CSP) model. Society is the only organization in Pakistan to have been awarded this great honour.SCSPEB History
Society was established after successful implementation of an experiment in which 20 Community Support Process (CSP) schools were set up through Action Research in Loralai in 1992. The inspiring results of this project lead to the establishment of Society as an NGO in 1993.
Initially Society started with technical assistance and bridge funding provided by the Directorate of Primary Education (PED), Trust for Volunteers Organisation (TVO) and UNICEF. With this assistance, by December 1996, Society was able to promote 360 CSP schools through community participation.
In 1994, PED contracted Society to implement its Rural and Urban Fellowship Programs to promote private school establishment with extensive community involvement. In rural areas 30 schools and urban areas 11 schools were established under this program. The Urban component was further extended in 1996 with 22 schools to cover other towns outside Quetta.
Meanwhile, Society developed a Home Schools Program in Quetta through funding from UNICEF and Habib Bank Trust. In addition, Society executed a small project, under the Asian Development Bank, which sought to establish 69 School Management Committees (SMCs) in Community Model Schools.
In 1995, along with other local NGOs, Society was contracted by PED to implement the Education Department’s initiative of Parent Teacher School Management Committee (PTSMC). Society was able to establish over 3000 PTSMCs out of a target of 4000.
In 1997, Society broadened the scope of its activities and joined hands with UNICEF for a programme on Water and Sanitation. The objective was to improve access towards safe drinking water and to improve latrine practices. The programme sought to provide facilities to girl’s primary schools and easy access to facilities for the communities. This resulted in the active participation of communities in the program. SCSPEB’s prior experience helped to reduce the cost of the Donor/Government assistance and motivate the communities to act as active partners who shared the cost of well digging and installation of the facilities. The communities were also trained on the maintenance of facilities for proper and continuous functioning.
Society also worked with UNICEF in 1997, under the Focus District Programme, which aimed to address good governance issues. Under the project, 2 union councils were focused. The baseline data was collected regarding health, water and sanitation and education etc. The Village Development Committees (VDCs) for male and female were established, organized and trained. VDCs were inter-linked at union council level in the shape of Union Council Development Committees (UCDCs). These UCDCs were further linked at the tehsil level through Tehsil Development Committees (TCDs) and finally linked at the district level in the form of District Development Committees (DDCs). These management tiers were formed through a gradual process and were trained with attention to various aspects of management. The tiers helped to bring-up the voice of the community from bottom to top and also to disseminate information. Under this programme, the communities were mobilized to Universal Primary Education, management of health facilities, immunization, safe drinking water, hand pump installation and sanitation. This programme developed a positive impact within the communities and assisted in strengthening the government-community partnership in all social sectors for sustainable development.
In 1998 UNDP contracted SCSPEB on the basis of its wide experience in the field of community mobilization to impart the Social Mobilization Component in District Loralai, under the pilot phase of Balochistan Trial District Management Project (BTDMP). SCSPEB successfully managed implementation in 6 Union Councils of District Loralai which resulted in the active involvement of communities toward social development and formed 29 Male Community Councils (MCCs) in 49 settlements and 24 Female Community Councils (FCCs) in 24 settlements. The linkages between the communities and the Government were formed and strengthened through various kinds of training. The pilot phase of 22 months helped to develop a positive impact on communities and more importantly a good model ready for replication in other areas.
In 2000, the Royal Netherlands Embassy extended some funds to consolidate the objectives of Primary Education Quality Improvement Programme (PEQIP) under the Education Quality Improvement Programme (EQUIP). In this program, the focus was to enhance the vision of the communities, further train the VECs and WVEC and train teachers. In this way, Society moved into the sector of teacher training and built its capacity in this sector. In addition, this programme helped Society to demonstrate the role of community participation in a broader vision by testing the concept of Education Councils. The purpose of Education Councils was to facilitate communication between villages through a cluster approach. Through EC meetings communities were able to share their experience with other villages and develop combined plans. The Education Councils helped to mobilize the existing resources in different villages and to develop enterprise/entrepreneur groups at the cluster level. This expanded the vision of the EC, that it will also play a vital role in the economic development of the country.
Society continued its work in 1999 under the Increased Primary School Participation of Girls (IPSPG) programme, funded by Aus-Aid and UNICEF. The target of the project was to increase enrolment of out-of-school-girls to 35,000 in 4 districts of Balochistan (Society was engaged in 3 districts). The project strategy included involvement of parents, CBOs, volunteers, Pesh-Imams and activists in order to increase female education through consultative meetings and formation of support structures at village level (VEC/WVECs). The project has special emphasis on capacity building of the newly formed VEC/WVECs in order to ensure proper support for female education. The important outcome of this programme is that the Community Support Process is being demonstrated very actively in the existing Governments schools. The programme also focuses on the qualitative environment for education, so school and learning material has been arranged. One more important outcome is that the Government officials of Education Department were actively involved in developing more understanding of the CSP process.
After the US attack on Afghanistan, SCSPEB extended its support to the Afghan Refugees that had entered Pakistan in 2001. The Afghan Refugees Education Project (AREP) began in 2002 with the support of UNICEF, in three refugee camps; Roghani, Landikarez (Chaman) and Muhammad Khail (Panjpai). In the camps, 30 schools were to be established with the enrolment of more than 5000 children (40% of whom were the girls). The teachers initially worked on a volunteer basis and later food incentives were provided by the World Food Program on a monthly basis. In addition, an initial 6 days of training teachers was provided to teachers with a plan to provide them with more training through refresher trainings. The schools were initially set up in tents, with the goal of upgrading to mud houses. The syllabus adopted was the Afghan Basic Competencies developed by UNICEF Peshawar, SCF, DFID and other international organizations with the assistance of Afghan government. The textbooks were printed in Afghan Local Language Pashto and Darri. The schools were properly equipped with learning material and playing material along with the concept of School in a Box (UNICEF approach).
Under AREP, health and hygiene trainings have been imparted to women education group members. The training seeks to develop hygiene practices of the women and make them aware of diseases caused by garbage and rubbish as well as the benefits of cleanliness. The areas covered in these training are the use of soap, hand washing, water hygiene, diarrhea, worms, flue and cold, diseases caused by flies, how to protect from germs and personal hygiene
In 2002, SCSPEB also initiated a project with the support of UNICEF, Water Environment and Sanitation (WES-Tehsil Package) in two Union Councils; Pishin of and Khuzdar. The objectives of the project are to build inter-sectoral and inter-agency coordination and collaboration at the tehsil level, develop WES program implementation guidelines and technical field manuals, to increase saver water coverage and household latrine coverage, to establish provincial coordination mechanism encompassing all WES partners and to build the capacity at tehsil and union council level for planning, service delivery, resource mobilization, management and monitoring. Under WES health and hygiene trainings at the grass root level were imparted to women and children. This activity is the part of the project implementation strategy of Primary Environmental Care (PEC) started in 2000 at Pishin and Khuzdar districts. The major areas covered in the training sessions are as personal hygiene, hand washing, domestic hygiene, environmental hygiene, safe drinking water, usage of latrine and its importance inside the school building /home.
Finally, in 2002 SCSPEB directly joined hands with the Government of Balochistan, Education Department to reactivate and capacitate the Parent Teacher School Management Committees (PTSMCs) all over Balochistan. The target was 4235 PTSMCs. In this project, SCSPEB along with mobilizing the communities and bringing them into partnership with the Education Department, SCSPEB has also focused on mobilizing the existing resources by sub-contracting work to local NGOs, SCOPE, LAFAM and RCDC, to become partners in the developmental process and develop their capacity.
Progress & Future
Society’s success, since 1992, has been remarkable. The Community Support Process in terms of its concept, methodology and results has proved to be a major breakthrough in promoting development in rural Balochistan. There has never been a more effective social change before; its effects are far reaching and long term.
Society, has proven that if parents and education department officers work in partnership and are provided with the right kind of support, they can complement each other and can utilize the existing resources effectively to ensure quality schooling in their areas.
Female education promoters and the female teacher who herself is a part of the community have become role models for the community. The economic well-being and esteemed status of the teacher reinforces the value of education in the minds of the masses.
Driven by motivation of development, SCSPEB teams have reached the hardest and the remotest of areas from Rakhni to Hub and from Afghanistan/Taftan border (Chaman) to Sindh border (Jaffarabad). They have taken on challenges and consequently have had to build their skills to match those challenges. Thus, Society has a comparative advantage in terms of access and experience.
Society has always complimented the government’s work by meeting its targets well on time, and by contributing positively in planning, training and policy recommendation. It has been considered as partner by the Education Department as it has played a major role in the evolving process and conceptual work for PED community support programs, which has benefited in the formulation of programs and policies. Some of the instances in this regard include providing ideas for the Fellowship Programme and 100% project preparation for PEQIP and BEF’s capacity building that has now enabled it to implement the Fellowship Programme itself.
Society has developed an Action Research & Training cell for the purpose of enhancing capacity of the organization. It has carried out research development studies: Consolidation Study (Kalat, Mastung), Kohlu Teachers Verification Study; and recently Re-validation Study for PED to Strengthen Community Support Process. Moreover, Society is making efforts to institutionalize the Mobile Female Teachers Training Unit (MFTTU), PTSMCs formation and DEOs completing a few of 11 steps on their own.
In the future, Society intends to continue working more effectively by developing not only its own staff but also broadening its scope of human resource development by training the regional and village organisations as well as building capacity of the Government field officers for sustainable development.