At the end of February teachers Avis Rolfe and Liusaidh Brown with DP Coordinator Pete Wilson travelled to LAMS School in Sultan Town, Faisalabad in Pakistan. This was a follow-up visit after Pete’s first trip to the school in November 2016.
LAMS school focuses on girls’ education at the secondary level and all the teaching staff at the school are women. These highly-qualified, dedicated and hard-working people had invited us to join them for a week to observe classes, meet the students and head teacher and run workshops on classroom methodology.
We were greeted with showers of rose petals, dances and singing and an inspirational whole-school Assembly. Each day stars with a full assembly led by different children from both the primary and secondary sections. Readings from the Qur’an are accompanied by inspirational speeches, sketches and songs.
In the secondary classes much of the teaching is quite didactic in nature with the teachers delivering the subject knowledge in the form of lectures. What is impressive is that the students retain so much of this knowledge such that the school’s performances in the national exams at all levels is very impressive.
These are the children of the factory workers who produce rugs, table mats and other accessories for export through Norpak International. Indeed, the school was originally created when the founder of the factory, Yawar Bokhari, saw that there was a real need for local education. Now the children are dropped off at the school by their parents and the fathers head straight to their looms and dyeing machines while the mothers collect their daily work to take home with them. In this way, the school lives its motto: ‘Trade Education Development’.
Our workshops were well-received by the teachers but at the same time highlighted what we all felt: that these were just the tip of the iceberg – the start of what we hope will be an ongoing partnership. One hope is to arrange teacher exchanges between our two institutions and another is to explore the possibilities for a scholarship for a LAMS graduate.
Our hosts were kind, thoughtful and considerate throughout the week. It is impossible to summarise the emotions and experiences we had in these few words. I recommend you visit the LAMS Facebook page, where you will see more photos and can watch our interview with Year 10 head girl Rubab Rasheed.