Bacha Khan Trust Educational Foundation
- Mission Statement
The intellectual stagnancy in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa demands that we develop a narrative based on indigenous knowledge, collective will, and pluralism. In this regard, a system of education is the best possible means to rebuild cultural institutions, ensure individual’s rights and liberties and work for mutual coexistence thus reducing conflicts and building sustainable peace. Baacha Khan Trust Educational Foundation (BKTEF) has undertaken this sacred responsibility of taking critical quality education to the nook and corner of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The BKTEF is the continuation of the struggle started by the great reformist of the 20th century Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan alias Baacha Khan who was instrumental in introducing the concept of Community-Based Schools by establishing more than 100 schools in the late 1920s.
- Aims, Goals, and Objectives
The education policy of the Baacha Khan Schools is formulated by the Board of Directors of the foundation. However, the following objectives are given for a point of reference.
- Provide subsidized quality educational facilities to the poor to produce critical, analytical, and socially and economically productive individuals;
- Apply primary, secondary and higher education, as a tool for development, peace, and prosperity;
- Improve access to quality education, increase literacy rate and male-female education ratio;
- Provide youth of the country with conditions, conductive to full-fledged development of their capacities and character;
- Meet the individual and cultural needs and aspirations of the people;
- Provide individuals full opportunities to develop their capability for the creation of a progressive and democratic society;
- Foster in children the spirit of inquiry and independent thought and ability to apply their knowledge to real-life situations;
- Develop aesthetic sense and an appreciation of cultural values among children;
- Develop the spirit of co-operation and services;
- Relate teachings to the needs of practical life and environment;
- Provide a form of education had its roots in the cultural values;
- Nurture a pride in the nation, an understanding of its history and aspirations, and willingness to serve it;
- Create an appreciation of the unity and diversity of mankind and a spirit of international understanding; and
- Provide an educational system that could facilitate transition into an era of science and technology, promote political, social, and economic development and bring the country’s cultural heritage into harmony with the contemporary world.
- Outreach Mechanism (through own staff, volunteers, community groups, etc.)
- Schools: The BKTEF has established 14 community-based schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including District Peshawar, Karak, Malakand, Dir Upper, Chitral, Swabi, Mardan, Hangu, Kohat, Charssadda, and Khyber Agency in FATA.
- Community Educational Committees: To create ownership of the schools by the local communities, the BKTEF has established Community Education Committees (CECs) in each locality of its schools, which are actively involved in the school-building processes. The involvement of communities through CECs in the decision-making process has provided greater outreach to the foundation in the respective communities.
- Projects: BKTEF is conducting a pilot project “Promotion and Preservation of local arts, culture and heritage” in all the districts where Baacha Khan Schools are located. The foundation is also conducting a “Youth Leadership Program” in 20 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 3 Agencies of FATA.
- Outreach Mechanism (through own staff, volunteers, community groups, etc.)
The BKTEF has also started a new project “Environmental Education” in its 12 schools along with five other Public schools around each of the Baacha Khan Schools. This makes an intervention and influence in about 82 schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA. Th BKTEF has recently launched ‘Environmental Education Project i the 83 schools of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA.
- Linkages: The Foundation has access to a variety of departments, organizations, community groups,s, and like-minded individuals. The BKTEF has established good working relations with all the concerned stakeholders in the target areas. The Foundation has strong working relations with the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
- Ongoing collaboration
- Provincial Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa:
BKTEF has strong linkages with the provincial government o Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federal Government of Pakistan. As the foundation is mostly working in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FAT strong linkages have been established with the government departments, parliamentarians, and ministers. In this regard, the provincial government has already endowed funds to the foundation. The foundation is currently engaged with two departments of the provincial government:
- Ministry of Education: BKTEF signed an agreement on September 10, 2008, with the Elementary & Secondary Education Department, Ministry of Education Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Under this agreement, BKEF will establish Oxford Standard schools for marginalized members whereas Ministry o Education will hand over non-functional schools located in remote areas of the province. Similarly under another agreement signed in October 2008, the Provincial Institute of Teacher Education (PITE Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is providing essential assistance to BKTE for teacher’s training in terms of space availability, resource persons, and training material.
- Ministry of Sports and Culture: The Foundation is currently engaged with the Culture Directorate of the Ministry o Sports and Culture Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The engagement outlines handing over of Culture Resource Center to the Directorate in the project “Promotion and Preservation of Local Arts, Culture and Heritage 2010-2011.”
- Ministry of Environment: The BKTEF is in the process of signing MoU with the Ministry of Environment for the implementation of its Environmental Education Project.
- Open Society Institute: The Foundation established 12 Community-Based Schools initially with the assistance of the Open Society Institute. These schools were made functional and OSI continued its assistance for the operation of these schools. These schools are managed by the Community Based Educational Committees with strong academic and administrative backup from the foundation.
- Royal Embassy of Norway: BKTEF has successfully launched a pilot project Promotion and Preservation of Local Arts, Culture, and Heritage in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with the collaboration of the Royal Embassy of Norway. Given the fragile nature of the political situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with increased militarization and basis for fundamentalist Taliban forces in the communities, the “culture for social change “program can be seen as a soft, but powerful weapon against the Taliban and an alternative tool for development and for building self-esteem on positive values and as a way to build stronger linkages between concerned communities and the government for peace in the region. The initial focus of the project is youth across the target areas, staff members and students of Baacha Khan Schools, BKTEF Directorate, artists, writers/poets, instrumentalists, Members of Cultural Arts Councils, and Directorate of Culture Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
- Hanns Seidel Foundation, Germany: The Foundation has currently undertaken a Youth Leadership Development Program in cooperation and assistance of Hanns Seidel Foundation, Germany, and has effectively trained 300 male and female youth in the 7 districts namely Charssadda, Peshawar, Karak Nowshera, Mardan, Swabi and Malakand on themes related to peace and development, human rights, political concepts, leadership, and management skills. After conducting a rally of the trained youth in Peshawar, the second phase of the program has been taken in hand. Phase-II of YLP is in progress in 20 Districts of the province and 3 Agencies of FATA over a ‘period of 18 months in which 515 more youth will be trained.
The BKTEF has also started another program with the support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation with the name “Environmental Education”. This project aims to introduce Environmental Education in 12 Baacha Khan Schools and 72 other Public schools. A separate training manual, teachers guide book, and students exercise books would be developed covering the modules of “Civic Rights and Responsibilities, Clean Drinking Water, Sewerage System, and Solid Waste Disposal, Forestation and Deforestation, and Disaster Management”. Teachers from each of the 84 schools will be trained on the above concepts who would teach the subject in their respective schools to grade 7th and 8th. Environmental clubs would also be established in each school that will help and focus on environmental issues and also on the protection of the environment.
- National Endowment for Democracy: The Foundation has undertaken a program “Strengthening Civil Society through Dialogue and Mediation” with the support of the National Endowment for Democracy. In this program, the BKTEF would organize conferences and seminars on the topics of peace, pluralism, and democracy across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA. Selected people from the seminars will become part of group discussions study circles that would also make exchange visits t different districts.
- British Council, Peshawar: BKTEF entered into a one-year agreement with British Council, Peshawar. Under the agreement, British Council will build the capacity of teaching faculty at Baacha Khan Schools and employees at Directorate through various need-based training. According to the agreement BKTEF will nominate a maximum of five faculty members for registration with Supported Open Learning Center (SOLC) for 6 months. After 06 months BKTEF can either re-nominate the same or different faculty members. In addition to this two BK Schools Mathra and Charsadda are part of the British Council “Connecting Classrooms
- Funding of the Foundation
- Profit from Endowment Fund
- Subsidized Fee from Students
- Assistance of OSI
- Donation from community, national and international diasporas
- Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Royal Embassy of Norway, Hanns Seidel Foundation, and National Endowment for Democracy for ongoing projects
- The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has pledged an amount of Rs. 50 million as a contribution to the Endowment Fund.
- The Foundation is receiving proceeds from the subsidized tuition fee charged from students of BK Schools.
- Open Society Institute is providing strong support for the functioning of BK Schools.
- Community-Based Education Committees are providing consisting financial and management support to all BK Schools.
- Local communities have made a generous land donation in 15 locations which would cater to the foundation’s future expansion plan.
- Fundraising through members, well-wishers, and sympathizers from communities and contributions from national and international Diaspora.
- The Royal Embassy of Norway and Hanns Seidel Foundation, Germany are providing financial support for the foundation’s new projects.
- Strategic: The Foundation has succeeded in establishing a planning, development, and research department with a strop team of professionals. Based on critical research, projects are developed having the vision and strategic importance. Recent establishment in BK School at Chitral, decision to establish a school in Swat, Bannu Kohistan, and Mansehra, and establishment of an educational complex in Swabi, all on donated lands, reflects the intensity of desire and participation of the respective communities for having access to quality education through the BK Schools. The foundation has focused on improving the technical infrastructure of BK Schools by providing computer labs, equipped libraries, and cultural education clubs to ensure the transformation of the education system to a critical and analytic based learning for a better and transformed modern, democratic, and pluralist Pakhtun society.