SLUM School by Mohammad Rohayl is Pakistan’s First Solar Night School & World’s One of the First Solar Night School. It’s an attempt to educate child labourers and underprivileged youth after the sunset using solar power because they work whole day and gets free from their jobs/work at night. SLUM School is an attempt to educate child labourers, underprivileged youth, street children & children living in slums. It’s an attempt to win war against poverty, illiteracy & terrorism.
SLUM abbreviation. SLUM = Students Learning Under the Moon
It’s an alternative education system for 23 million out of school children & millions of underprivileged youth living in Pakistan. Most of these children works whole day & gets free at night. Our school starts around 7 PM after sunset so these students can easily join us after their work which usually ends before this time.
SLUM School is a system of education designed for the deserving yet underprivileged students. Since its inauguration in 2016, it is teaching more than 100 students with free provisions of food, bags, books, clothes, sports items and stationary in the slum of Faisalabad.
The school not only teaches the basics to children from underprivileged backgrounds but also teaches them basic ethics and etiquette. There are also some other engaging activities Family Days, Sports Days, Ice Cream days, Mango Parties, Eid Milan Parties, Arts Classes etc the school has tried to keep the students interested. There are also distribution ceremonies where students are given chocolates, biscuits, clothes, food and other gifts.
The classes take place outdoors with just a whiteboard for the teacher to write on and a piece of cloth for the students to sit and learn. Rohayl has taken it upon himself to go to the school for at least two hours on a daily basis.
The quality of education at the Slum School is in no way enough to negate the need for a formal education, but the effort alone is commendable. Rohayl also argues that “the main motive is to bring knowledge and basic level education to otherwise deprived children and adults, who would not be having even an inkling of or just meager knowledge or education otherwise”.
Rohayl started SLUM School when he was 21 years old. He teaches in his SLUM School at night by using solar fans & solar nights. These special classes are conducted for students who are involved in child labour and returns home after sunset. Moreover, parents of our students also attends these night classes. Rohayl Varind has been teaching there alone since the beginning.
Digital Equality: Empowering child labourers, underprivileged youth, street children & children living in slums in Pakistan with Information and Technology. We believe it is the portal to upward mobility, a means for students to escape poverty. This is the reason we are teaching our students how to use IT, Laptops, Tablets, Website Designing, Graphic Designing, Adobe Photoshop etc. We are trying to replace besom & broom with laptop. Currently we are teaching graphic designing to our female students who are working as house help & maid.
It’s been several decades Pakistan is facing illiteracy and only education can change Pakistan’s present & future. So he needs to work even more hard to achieve his goal to create an alternative education system for 23 million underprivileged children & millions of underprivileged yotuh.
SLUM School has also been featured & appreciated by numerous International Media & Organisations, Pakistani news channels & news papers including BBC News, BBC World, BBC future, BBC News Urdu, BBC News Hindi, BBC News Punjabi, Gulf News, World Economic Forum, TRT World, Quartz, VOA Urdu, ARY News, GEO News, Express News, 24 News, BOL News, Daily Pakistan, Jang Newspaper, Brilio, QQ.com. Xuehua etc. Our work has been featured & translated in Chinese, Russian, Thai, German, Albanian, Hindi, Portuguese & Indonesian language as well. Now, SLUM School hopes to spread this concept further around the country and encourage other people to take part as well. When asked about how he supports his venture and how should people contact him if they want to contribute, he said that there are no permanent donors.
Moreover, we don’t take cash donations we prefer donations in the form of food, solar equipment, IT products (Laptop, Tablet, Projector, etc) Moreover we also want people to buy a board and a board marker themselves and start teaching unprivileged kids around them, like their maids, the security guards or their children, and so on.
Everything for students are free in the class free books, free bags, free stationary, free food we provide them new shoes, new clothes etc. Even parents of our students also get free food, free shoes, free clothes, free ration as a motivation. Children just need to come for 90-120 minutes.
Slum School – Fighting Terrorism
According to statistics Pakistan is amongst top 5 countries which are most affected by Terrorism. I, Rohayl Varind started working for Pakistan’s peace and a fight against terrorism since my teenage through several projects I believe Education is a vaccine for poverty so in 2016 I started a Slum School, a system of education designed for the deserving yet underprivileged students. I have personally seen that violent students are becoming calm day by day as education education eliminates triggers of violence as well as Education promotes self discipline it helps children to become disciplined and trained in peaceful coexistence with others in society. It also promotes self regulation and helps to keep violent impulses in check. I have been following terrorist attack in Pakistan and have been researching on them since last several years and I discovered Terrorist groups recruit from largely poor and uneducated sections of society which have no access to employment or money. Education eliminates poverty and unemployment, which are often motivations for terrorism so I believe Killing leaders of terror groups does not stop the militant organisation, education does. Several cases abound whereby prominent leaders of terror groups have been killed, but militancy has not ended. Someone else simply takes over in the chain of command. To end terrorism, lasting social change through education is vital. People can be killed, ideologies cannot: While a person can be killed, an ideology can only be combated through education.
SLUM School – Fighting Illiteracy
Pakistan is a country plagued by issues like poverty, corruption, and, the biggest of all, illiteracy. With an overall literacy rate of 56.6% (according to data available from UNESCO in 2015), Pakistan is found in the lower ranks of the list of countries according to their literacy rates.
There are a number of factors that contribute to the lack of literacy rate in Pakistan and will continue to do so for quite some time— one of the biggest being the 24 million or so children that have never been to school.
“There are unfortunately an estimated 250 million children in Asia alone who are either deprived of school or are drop outs,” says Rohayl. “As an educationist, my conscience would not be at peace unless I made a difference in these statistics and thereby the condition of the world brought on by it.”
About Rohayl (Founder of SLUM School)