if i were a gypsy and you a star

pkss and me

That’s me, there, taking a picture.

Standing far enough to be invisible to the little girl on top, while she opens her arms to the world. Surreptitiously clicking away, trying not to look like a tourist.

I’m not sure what it means to be a “Communication Specialist”, really –  I tend to slide into jobs that are very hard to explain. For now, it means that I spend three days a week going around the eight schools run by the JAQ Education Trust, absorbing as much as I can. I say “schools”, of course, because that’s what they are – resounding with ABCs, 123s, “good morning-thankyou-sorry-please”.

A closer look at the Pehli Kiran School System, however, reveals that it is slightly different from the conventional education franchise. The PKSs are tucked away in secret corners of Islamabad, that lie just beyond the manicured streets. They cater to children from squatter communities, who might just be about to move.

These are children who fall through the cracks of the current system – rag-pickers, bag-pickers, refugees – who may never have had access to any other form of basic education. Since they belong to mobile communities, their lives are governed by practical uncertainty. As a result, the PK schools are especially designed as spaces of learning that can follow the students from A to B.

Last week, I had my first immersion into the non-formal school system. I’m having to discard very many set ideas and adapt myself to an alternate reality.

There is order in this, and inspiration. For the first time in years, I have extensive, colour-coded notes. Hope to share them soon.

If I were a gypsy and you a star

I would spot you from afar

And follow you till you would see

That maybe you could follow me.


9 responses to “if i were a gypsy and you a star

  1. Refugees oh wow Brilliant madeeha i mean whoever came up with the concept of Pehli Kiran truly SALUTE
    I mean if ever could i be of any help, even to just have my presence there to clean around, I’m in no reluctance
    Godbless you guys 🙂

  2. Thank you for visiting my blog today. As a retired teacher I can appreciate your enthusiasm for this method of providing education to transient children. What an exciting opportunity for you!

  3. Thank you Carol – I do feel very lucky indeed! So many new things happening that it’s quite overwhelming. Need to be collecting thoughts.

  4. The idea of such schools is refreshing..! Waiting to hear more about them from you..love the little poem at the end! 🙂

  5. Pingback: we’ve been busy | the write thing·

  6. Pingback: thoughts on diving in | the write thing·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s