The data from Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) Pakistan 2010, which assessed 54,062 rural children, 5-16 years of age for up to grade II & grade III competencies, revealed poor results in both reading and mathematics. The overall reading ability of story level was only 34% and Mathematics (subtraction) was, only 19%. 51% of grade V children could do grade II reading at story level and only 34% of grade V children could do division level Mathematics at grade III level.
To address this learning level problem ITA has launched a citizen led campaign by the name of Chalo Parrho Barrho (Let’s Read and Grow). Under the campaign children of primary school going age would be targeted and special classes would be held in the local school for children with poor learning levels in language and arithmetic. The aim of these classes would be too build a strong base among children in learning language (reading, writing and comprehension,) and arithmetic (number recognition, addition-subtraction, and multiplication-division).
CPB is a citizen led initiative and has been designed in a manner where it is the citizens’ of the community that are working towards improving the educational status of their community’s children. Educated volunteers are recruited from the villages and then trained by ITA to conduct CPB classes in the local government schools. Volunteers were trained in the Combined Activities for Maximized Learning (CAMAL) methodology, which is a highly effective technique for teaching language and arithmetic in a short span of time.
The classes are held for children of primary school going ages who are unable to read properly and are not able to do basic arithmetic operations. The program also caters to out of school children. Accelerated catch up classes are held after school for these children. The objective is to mainstream these out of school children into the formal school system.
The pilot phase of the campaign was launched in Multan and Rahim Yar Khan. Two villages; Rawani in Multan and Wahid Buksh in Rahim Yar Khan were targeted. There were two government schools in both the villages. Rawani has a boys’ primary school and a girls’ elementary school which has now been upgraded to a high school. Wahid Buksh Lar has two primary schools, one for the boys and the other for the girls.
The program was initiated in all 4 schools. 2 volunteers were attached to a school. Morning CPB classes were held for in-school children and afternoon classes were held for out of school children. Classes started in April 2011 and ended in July 2011.