Providing opportunities for education to young mothers has a two-fold effect: an adult has a second chance to get an education that they could not when they were younger, and secondly young mothers are more likely to raise educated children. Educated mothers also have the option of educating their children at home if they cannot afford the tuition fee or other expenses that are associated with sending a child to school.
The main reason that young girls don’t attend school is their family’s poor economic condition. Additionally, when a poor family is faced with a choice between sending a boy or a girl to school, more often than not they will opt for educating the male child.
A Social Action Project (SAP) named Steps Against Illiteracy was started in an impoverished area of Karachi to fund a school providing classes to young mothers and their children at a cost as low as possible, and sometimes free of cost for especially deserving students. The school is called “The Citizens Foundation School” and offers classes three days a week in the morning and afternoon.
Some of the goals of the school are to enable the students to write and read basic Urdu and English, and to be able to perform calculations for day-to-day tasks such as shopping and planning the household budget.
The school is meant to run for three months. In this time its students will not only gain knowledge that can be applied to daily tasks but will also give them the background and confidence to apply to a “proper” school. The Citizens Foundation School may be a short-term venture but its benefits may very well last for a long time.