THE NAFISA MAI SCHOOL

In March 2010, the first batch of students admitted in 2002 appeared for the Class 8th external examination of the Punjab Board of Education, achieving a 100% result.

THE FIRST STEP

Although a middle school had existed in the area, admission was restricted to the male child, and it was inconveniently located across the KLP highway (Karachi-Lahore-Peshawar). The prevailing situation greatly restricted access to local children, even causing accidents and tragic fatalities while students tried to cross the busy road.

THE CAMPUS TODAY


Today, the school is a full-fledged campus comprising spacious classrooms, an administration block, an extended playground, a canteen which provides free snacks, a computer lab, and an auditorium where various workshops and events of national and religious importance have been held. To facilitate access of teachers and visitors, a 3 km road was constructed to link the school with the main highway.

Total No. of Classrooms: Ground Floor (10) & First Floor (06)
Auditorium: Capacity of 300

The Nafisa Mai School was initially set up in the back yard of the Trust’s founder members, but by November 2002, classes were shifted into a purpose-built structure, which has continuously been upgraded to accommodate the growing needs of the students and community.



The school building was constructed in accordance with a cost-effective but modern design while keeping in mind the local rural environment and needs of the children. Students have easy pedestrian access to the school from their homes while their parents work in the fields nearby. Open courtyards allow the efficient use of natural light and facilitate well-ventilated classrooms. Keeping in mind the safety of the children, no vendors are allowed around or inside the building.

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CAMPUS DESIGN CRITERIA

Orientation of the school so it stays cool during hot weather Standard room sizes and wide corridors with ample cross-ventilation Use of local indigenous materials Children’s play area with ten different types of swings (2 kannals) Extended playground for Sport Days activities (6 kannals) Separate male and female staff rooms Toilets (the students were deprived of this facility in their homes)

MODERN FACILITIES

Playgrounds

The School campus includes large playgrounds for sports activities and daily physical exercise undertaken under the supervision of a Physical Training teacher. The grounds are equipped with a variety of swings. In addition, the School has procured 5 bicycles and tricycles each, for the benefit of the students.

Amphitheatre and Auditorium

An open-air amphitheatre was also built to stage events all year round, while the auditorium has a seating capacity for 300 students and teachers.

TV Room

Cartoons and educational films are shown regularly.

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Computer Lab

Students commenced computer classes in a state of the art Computer Lab, donated by Interactive Communications, one of Pakistan’s premier IT companies, in October 2010.

Science Lab

A Science Lab has been set up to fulfil the curriculum requirements of senior classes, stored with equipment and material for studies related to biology, chemistry and physics.

Library

The Library houses a collection of textbooks, storybooks, religious volumes and historical texts.

Art Room

Students are encouraged to pursue drawing, painting and various arts and crafts activities with locally available material to promote their creative skills.

EDUCATIONAL SERVICES

The School offers classes from Nursery to Grade IX, while also providing students with books, uniforms and shoes free of cost. No tuition fee is charged. Prep, Nursery and Class One students are also provided a healthy lunch at school to counter malnutrition and disease, and inspected every two months by a doctor from the nearby Rural Health Centre at Khanbela. A free hair cut is also arranged at regular intervals to encourage the practice of good hygiene.

Presently, there are 242 students enrolled (117 boys and 125 girls). Every year, 50 children aged 5 – 6 years are admitted to the Nursery level. Female education is highly encouraged.

Curricula

The School is registered with the Punjab Board of Education which prescribes the curriculum. Exams are held on an annual basis, while question papers are personally finalised by Board members.

The administration continues to make an effort to encourage student participation in the learning process rather than pursuing a system of rote learning and one-way communication. For students in Nursery and KG levels, a set of activity material was procured from Children’s Resources International (CRI) and replicated locally to encourage activity-based learning.

Female Teaching Staff

Local female teaching staff was hired to encourage parents to enrol their daughters. The school also provides for the safe transport of teachers to the school.

Teacher Training

The School administration continues to strive to improve the quality of education by training the teaching staff and assisting them in furthering their education.

Local teachers hired at the inception of the school were provided 7 days training in Primary Teaching by the Pakistan Education Foundation. The organisation has also come to an arrangement with the Allama Iqbal Open University by which teachers may pursue its Distance Learning Courses, fully funded by the organisation.

EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

The School administration is aware that it is vital for students to be equipped with a diverse set of skills in order to inculcate a wholesome personality. Students are thus also encouraged to take part in extra-curricular activities in addition to the emphasis on academic ability.

An Active School Calendar

Over the years, a number of successful events have been held which added colour and festivity to the school activities and strengthened a sense of community among the students and their parents. Religious and national days of importance are commemorated in addition to Sports Days and Meena Bazaars.

Art competition

In 2004, the Nafisa Mai School arranged for 10 students (5 boys and 5 girls) to take part in an Art Competition organised by the Heritage Foundation. This also marked the first time a grass-root level organisation had participated. To acknowledge this, the Heritage Foundation plans to make the Nafisa Mai School a centre for the competition in future.

Educational films

The School regularly arranges for cartoon movies and Sesame Street programmes to be shown to children to increase their exposure to the outside world.