Education is a basic human right. It is necessary to enjoy all other rights. Despite this, many children are still deprived of their right to education for many reasons. Poor qualities of education, violence in and around the school, and gender-based discrimination are just examples of these reasons.
To address this issue, Plan cooperates with the ministries of Education and Social Solidarity to provide children who dropped out from school or have never joined school with opportunities to access non-formal education through “community schools”.
Omar is an 11-year old boy. He dropped out from school when he was in primary stage because of the poor quality of education and violence at school. Speaking about the school he used to attend, Omar says “there was no system. The classrooms were overcrowded and children used to push each other when we were climbing the stairs after the morning line. Some children used to faint because of that.”
Underqualified teachers were another push reason for Omar. He states that “the teacher used to write on board and not to care about explaining the lesson to us. Sometimes, the teacher made fun of us when we gave wrong answer. This made me hate the subject he taught. I did not want to go to that school any longer.”
Few months after dropping out from school, one of the volunteers at the community school visited Omar’s family. She encouraged Omar to join the community school that is close to where he lives. “I joined the community schoo” says Omar “it is the best school ever. Teachers explain well till we understand everything. They treat us nicely.”
Community schools seek to provide children with safe learning environment that nourishes creative thinking through the use of active learning techniques. In the community, Omar discovered that he is talented in writing.
“Here in the community school, they encourage us to apply what we learn in a play or by writing a story. When I began doing so, I discovered that I’m gifted in writing. I wrote many stories, shared them with the teacher and felt so happy when she liked them and told me that my friends present the story I wrote in a play.”
By focusing on developing children’s talents, children acquire many life skills and increase their self-confidence. Such activities also help children learn about their rights, responsibilities and carry out children-led initiatives to promote their right to community participation.
“I dream to become a writer, or a teacher of social studies.” Concludes Omar. Through community schools, Plan aims to support children to make their dream come true by investing in providing them with access to their right to quality education.