Owing to it powerful impact, the DOSTI project has been embedded in the ILMPOSSIBLE: Take a Child to School initiative that works to tackle low school enrolment in primary schools in Pakistan. The primary objective of introducing this initiative was to encourage children to stay in school by enhancing their learning experience through sports activities, improving their engagement through interactive story telling-sessions and cultivating a better student-teacher bond. The programme is already paying dividends where students, parents and teachers alike find value in activities outside of academics, building the value of physical education and health.
Building on UK and Pakistan’s shared history, and shared national interest in Cricket, this is a good time to highlight the important role cricket, and sports as whole, plays not just on a macro level but a micro level. It can have a significant impact on an individual’s physical, mental and social well-being, especially for children. This has been emphasized in UNICEF’s recent report on Getting Into the Game: Understanding the Evidence for Child-Focused Sport for Development report which says sport can play a positive role in delivering development outcomes for children particularly for learning, skill development, social inclusion, safety, and empowerment.
Please see below the stories of students, teachers, and volunteers whose lives have been impacted by DOSTI.
Our Work with Young People in Sports
Under the programme, ILMPOSSIBLE: Take a Child to School, British Council with its wide network of implementing partners was successful in the enrollment of 225,000 out of school children back in school. This was possible after focused effort of more than 11,000 volunteers spread across the country, who displayed commitment towards the goal of changing the future of the children in their communities possibly the future of their community.
However, the efforts of thousands of people working together across the country had high potential of eventually fizzling out if the process ended with enrollment. The second and equally important task was to ensure the freshly enrolled students were retained. The primary reason for the general disinterest amongst students was the monotonous school day and a student-teacher bond that required significant improvement. Among other factors, these two aspects of the learning experience at school contributed to high drop out rates across the country.
Hence, School of Leadership Foundation developed DOSTI – an interactive and engaging life skill education and sports based programme in consultation with British Council as a tool to ensure the retention of freshly enrolled students. The primary objective of introducing this initiative was to encourage children to stay in school by enhancing their learning experience through sports activities, improving their engagement through interactive story telling-session and cultivating a better student-teacher bond.
About Generation Amazing
Generation Amazing involves activities within and outside the classroom to create an exciting learning environment in school. The programme improves retention by providing students access to activities that would increase their interest. These activities consists of classroom learning discussions and physical activities such as sports to help children stay interested in and be excited about school.
The Generation Amazing programme allows teachers to develop beneficial relationships with the students thus creating an inclusive and friendly learning environment for the children. A combination of engaging educational activities as well as sports brought about a significant positive change in students’ behaviour as noted by school management, teachers and GA Ambassadors. Children who are part of Generation Amazing develop life skills and traits such as kindness, respect for teachers and fellow students, responsibility and teamwork.
The programme has proven its effectiveness by increasing the retention of enrolled students by making school an exciting and fun experience that also helps develop important life skills and traits for the development of children in schools.