Before I even applied this idea existed in my head, and when I applied I mentioned it in my application. A school of my own. While it is a rather ambitious project to take on, it is one that I have thought of for far too long to push it away.
When a country goes up in flames, strife fueled by militant groups whose recruits are children recruited from poverty, lured in with the promise of education and a meal a day, it goes without saying that that country is in grave need of educational reform. A redoing of things at grassroot level.
We, as a nation, have failed ourselves when every other day a child sold into slavery turns up mutilated, tortured, murdered- in cold blood.
This is the premise of the project, third world country reform focused on social justice achieved via education.
Areas of focus would be the uplift of women, religious and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ, the lower socioeconomic strata and greater upward social mobility. The long term goals would focus on turning back the tide of radical religion, promoting a new mindset centred around preventing brain drain while avoiding the pitfalls of dogma and nationalism, and attempting to restore the economy through a school that will survive as its own ecosystem, one that benefits all stakeholders and the greater community.
George Peabody and John Dewey’s work serve as the inspiration for my project. The idea of having our own Pakistani dream, of having an equal fighting chance in the world. For a project of this scale I do hope to work with a partner organisation.
This would involve on the ground research, along with the implementation of incentivization schemes in order to retain female students and encourage parents to send their children to school. It is also necessary to identify the greatest sources of conflict in society and address those issues early on, whether it is forced conversions and religious fanaticism or LGBTQ rights. There is also the issue of how to present this organisation to a conservative country in an acceptable light, and which power systems we risk upsetting and the possible consequences we may face.
This is not only vital for the survival of Pakistan but given the threat terrorism poses to the world today, we can consider this a project critical on the global scale. Pakistan is a nuclear power, and the neutralisation of this possible ticking time bomb is in everyone’s best interests. Preserving harmony in one of the key geographical players situated near two of the steadily emerging giants – India and China – is essential in ensuring democracy. Personally, it is important because I have seen my people suffer, and it can no longer continue this way.