British Council has a wide network of implementing partners, working tirelessly to collectively achieve Ilmpossible: Take a Child to Schools mission of enrolling out of school children and ensuring their retention.
CSSP, is one such organization, that has collaborated with the British Council and continues to work tirelessly for the betterment of children in Sukkur & Shikarpur, prominent districts of Sindh. Over the period of the project, CSSP has trained hundreds of volunteers who have shown immense commitment to the cause by not only identifying OOSC within their districts but also working diligently to ensure their enrolment in schools.
These volunteers were tasked with conducting a qualitative assessment to ascertain the standard of education in 7 union councils within the two districts. The research of the study is done through the collection of primary data by interviewing parents of out of school children. It was revealed that the families belonging to lower income groups were more likely to send their children for low paying labour jobs instead of providing them with any form of education. Even parents showed a lack of trust in the existing education system, as the children who had been attending school for several months were unable to even write their own names.
CSSP volunteers were alarmed with this feedback and in order to fully understand the situation, they scheduled a meeting with the teachers. During this meeting, the teachers revealed that students had been skipping school on a regular basis to go for movies and other forms of entertainment. This learning was communicated to the parents for immediate action along with guidance to keep a strict check on the children during school timings to avoid such circumstances in the future.
The efforts of CSSP extended beyond this, the team met with AIG Sindh Police, Dr. Jameel Ahmed in order to come up with a permanent solution to the issue. Upon understanding the severity of the situation, Dr. Jameel called a meeting of DIGs and SSPs of Sukkur and Larkana to carry out a full investigation. He assured his full support towards the cause by issuing a notification that explicitly instructs the hotel owners to ban every kind of entertainment including movies, video games, snooker etc. for children during school hours.
This intervention of the partner organisation was beyond the scope of their collaboration with the British Council. The ownership and commitment to the overall goal displayed by CSSP is a testament of the hard work put in by each individual associated with the programme and their efforts to achieve maximum benefits from the programme to build healthier communities.