Since its inception, FIELD has developed strong partnerships with USAID, Aga Khan Rural Support Program-AKRSP, Hashoo Foundation, Cynosure Consultants (Int.), Aga Khan Education Service-AKES Islamabad/Rawalpindi, Initiative for Development and Empowerment Axis- IDEA and Pakistan Montessori Council.
In 2008, FIELD established the Foresight School System (FSS) in order to provide access to quality education to out of schools and under-privileged children across four schools and 5 Early Childhood Care and Development-ECCD centers in Rawalpindi Punjab and Gilgit-Baltistan. A lot of Afghan children inRawalpindiand other under-privileged children are facilitated in their tuition fee, books and stationery. The management of the schools is based upon the principles of the Whole School Improvement Program (WSIP) and Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) models. Moreover, FIELD has ensured an environment in the FSS schools, which is child friendly, where children take their active role in teaching and learning interplay rather being passive listeners and have courage to ask questions to clarify unclear themes. FIELD has introduced inclusive education in the schools and enrolled impaired children in different classes and educates them with other students by looking into individual needs of the students. FIELD has established School Management Committees (SMCs) in FSS schools as well. The volunteer staff members of FIELD visit door to door of the Afghan and other under-privileged community members and convince parents to enroll their children to schools.
FIELD has established a mechanism for in-house capacity building program for teachers. New recruited teachers are given thorough orientations on the concepts and mechanisms for teaching and learning in classrooms. Weekly need based professional development sessions are conducted on content and methodology of different subjects. Academic staff and teachers deliver sessions in their turn so every body gets time to facilitate colleagues on specific topics. Moreover, reflective sessions are also conducted on daily basis to analyze the progress made and challenges faced that helps the staff to plan further for addressing challenges and move towards improvement. In addition, FIELD academic staff members are further providing on the job support to teachers in classrooms by observing their lessons and giving them feedback and targets for further improvement and delivering model lessons whenever need felt.
Moreover, the professional members at FIELD have got opportunities to work closely with the respective Education Departments inPunjab, AJK, KPK, ICT and Gilgit-Baltistan. They designed and conducted a number of capacity building programs for education managers, head teachers, teachers and school committees throughoutPakistan. For example, FIELD professionals conducted training programs for teachers and Parent-Teacher Councils-PTCs of District Dera Ismail Khan in two batches funded and facilitated by IDEA. 320 PTC members and 120 teachers participated in the training programs. Likewise, Hashoo Foundation helped us in conducting a series of training for FSS and coordinating schools’ teachers inRawalpindiand Gahkuch. Hashoo Foundation has also been convinced to provide support to FIELD in giving awards to talented students and scholarships to talented and needy students of the FSS school inRawalpindi.
Currently, FIELD is implementing a project on rehabilitation of flood affected government and Social Action Schools funded by USAID’s Ambassador Fund Program in District Ghizer Gilgit-Baltistan. FIELD is helping 2100 students, 340 teachers, 99 School Management committees- SMCs and 25 district education officials in the district by renovating the affected schools and providing them basic facilities such as furniture, teaching kits, library books, heating stoves and white boards. Moreover, capacity building programs are also carried out for SMCs, teachers, head teachers and district education managers on disaster risk management, psychosocial support, role of school committees in school improvement efforts and developing and implementing School Improvement Plans-SIPs. Monthly coordination meetings with the stakeholders are held and progress of activities are analyzed and remedial actions are proposed to meet set targets within the given time period.
The professional staff of FIELD has also received opportunities to work with different organizations during post earthquake rehabilitation of communities and schools in AJK and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The opportunity helped FIELD staff contribute in rescuing and providing psychosocial support to flood affected population of 2010 in Gilgit-Baltistan. During the 2010 devastating floods, the volunteer and professional staff of FIELD in collaboration with the VOs, WOs and Ghizer Volunteer Movement rescued 900 affectees and took them to safe places. They were provided emergency food and non-food item. The professional staff then provided psychosocial support to disaster-hit traumatized and displaced families in tents and provided educational activities for their children in the open air schools. The staff delivered sessions for teachers, school committees and students to identify different options for risk reduction at the time of emergency situations.
FIELD is staffed by a team of dedicated professionals with experience in conducting qualitative and quantitative research studies related to processes and impacts of educational interventions and programs. Furthermore, FIELD staff members have conducted a number of baseline surveys/situation analyses of different projects. For example, FIELD has recently completed an assignment on “Mapping Youth Organizations” in Ghizer District and Gilgit funded by AKRSP. 68 potential youth organizations working for welfare of youth have been identified and planning for building capacity of the organizations in specific areas is in process.