Education Brings Hope for Afghan Refugees in Pakistan

In a country where the literacy rate for adults hovers around 50 percent, Barakat’s elementary school classes help educate students and allows them to pursue their goals in life.


“School created the sense of looking [at] myself in [the] future,” 11-year-old Sher Bano said. She is a fifth grader in Barakat’s Ersari Elementary School in the Attock region of Pakistan. Sher Bano wants to be a banker in the future. “My parents are poor, so I will look at my school to help me in achieving my goal,” she added.

Ersari Elementary School has a total of 334 students enrolled for the 2012-2013 academic year. While 270 are boys, only 64 are girls. In Pakistan, about 70 percent of students were enrolled in primary education as of 2009.

Fourteen-year-old Naserullah, also a fifth grader, enjoys English the most of all his subjects. He plans to be a doctor, and said his uncle would be a key support in achieving his dream, at least financially. “My school is doing [a] great job in making us good members of [the] community,” he said. Naserullah has been in school since he was eight.

Ersari Elementary School teaches Naserullah, Sher Bano, and their classmates a curriculum set by the Pakistani government, asalt
well as subjects recommended by the Afghan government. The subjects they study include geography, English, mathematics, science, computer skills, Islamic studies, Urdu, Dari and Pashto.

Thirteen-year-old Sumera has been inspired by her experience at the Ersari Elementary School. She hopes to get a scholarship to high school and return as a teacher. “I’ve gotten strong inspiration from my teachers,” she said. “They are so loving and teach us at their best, and their appearance set in [my] mind for me to be a good teacher like them . . . and to create awareness among Afghans.”

You can help support these bright young minds by donating to Barakat at