Reforming Pakistan’s Government School System

“While being involved in relief work for the 2010 floods victims in Pakistan, I was standing with a Brigadier of Pakistan Army at a higher altitude; and saw seas of volunteers in front of us, working hard to serve the humanity. After few weeks, not many of these volunteers were left serving, and it was Pakistan Army & governmental machinery that were providing all the assistance. This shows that without a proper and strong system at governmental level, long-term change in the society, communities, and Pakistan is not possible.”

These were the approximate sentiments expressed by famous performer of Pakistan Shehzad Roy, as he and his wife Salma introduced the new initiatives of Zindagi Education Trust to a large gathering of Houstonian Pakistanis, & their American friends of the grass-roots level Pakistanis. Aron Kader from Los Angeles California was a hit at this program with his hilarious comedy, while legendary Bushra Ansari presented some nice cultural songs of Pakistan in various languages. Shehzad Roy also most passionately presented his most famous songs, included those about social issues and history of Pakistan.

This awareness & charity gala was organized by Dr. Asaf Qadeer, Faiyaz Merchant, Colonel (Retd) Hamed, Asad Jawad, Fariha Jawad, & their team of young volunteers at the nice Sugar Land ballroom in Stafford Texas. Tauheed Ashraf, Sadia Ashraf, and Khalid Qureishi from national Zindagi Trust came from Chicago.

Honorable Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee especially attended the event, and gave Congressional Recognition to Shehzad Roy for his outstanding service to Pakistan in the field of education. Honorable Congresswoman said that things may look tough for Pakistan at present; future is extremely bright due to the work done by person like Shehzad Roy and his wife. She said she will continue to be the voice in the Congress to support the educational, health, energy, and environment related programs in Pakistan.

Shehzad wife Salma made a nice power-point presentation, showing how they have revamped the overall curriculum of their adopted government schools, like the SMB Fatima Jinnah Government Girls School in Pakistan. The new curriculum is more interactive, engaging, and interesting for children to learn the basics of mathematics, sciences, languages, and so on. Students from this school came live into the fundraising.

Once the basics are strong, there is much hope that students excel throughout their academic life and beyond. This curriculum place the students at par with any private school, and eventually if this is replicated through a long-term process throughout Pakistan by adopting one school at a time, the whole living standards, ways to live life, consciousness, and environment will positively change; and those involved in this noble endeavor are Shehzad Roy, his wife Salma, and their colleagues plus all the hundreds & thousands of patrons throughout the world, including USA.

Shehzad Roy, in his  made a nice power-point presentation, showing how the Zindagi Trust other than their 9 years continuing “I-am-paid-to-learn” program, has taken over in 2006 the management of a public school called SMB Fatima Jinnah Government Girls School. The objective was to turn it into a centre of excellence with the hope that government would replicate the model all over Pakistan. For the first time in Pakistan, Zindagi Trust replaced decades-old government textbooks with imaginative and thought- provoking textbooks. They have introduced innovative learning modules like sports, rowing, photography as well as an outstanding audio-visual room, art room, computer lab and other facilities that help children discover their individual talent. With such innovative intervention, idea is that there are Ibnae Sinas, Sadeqains, Einsteins, and Newtons in the slums and streets, who once given equal opportunities in neat and clean environment, with fully equipped infrastructure (including well designed classrooms, net-&clean restrooms, labs, and libraries), will excel, and bring their lives, and the state of country out of the gloom.

For more information on Zindagi Trust, one can visit or call Tauheed Ashraf at 1-630-926-1564.