About Jaq Trust


The JAQ Education Trust was formed by family and friends in memory of the late Jamshed Akhtar Qureshi (1952-2001), to promote a shared vision of extending education opportunities to all, particularly to those with the least access. While operations began informally in 1996, it was formally registered under the Trust Act (II) of 1882 in September 2000 with the following mission:

  • Promote literacy and primary education among children from low income households through the Pehli Kiran School System (PKSS) - a network of non-formal community-based schools.
  • Safeguard children’s health, instill an appreciation for basic human values and enhance their access to the formal school system
  • Promote awareness-raising and social mobilization among the school communities towards self-help
  • Support programs to enhance income generation skills of older students, particularly girls and women from the communities
  • Provide financial assistance to needy students to help them reach their educational goals
  • Collaborate and link up with other organizations pursuing similar objectives

The JAQ Trust undertakes two distinct kinds of activity: (i) non-formal community based education through the Pehli Kiran Schools, which constitute over 95% of its operations; and (ii) educational scholarships to support continuing education of students beyond primary school, essentially in the formal school system.

Click here to read more about the Pehli Kiran School System.

The Story

The inspiration for this unique education initiative dates back to an encounter on the streets of Islamabad in the mid 1990s.

The Managing Trustee, Ms. Sabira Qureshi, saw a bright young boy vending “paapars”. When asked why he wasn’t in school, he explained that he could not afford it, as he had to earn money and help support his family. That was how the first ‘open air’ school was started under the shade of a tree in the posh F-10 sector of Islamabad, where a small group of street children from neighboring katchi abadis began attending regular classes. Today, the Pehli Kiran School System provides quality primary education to over 1200 children every year, through a network of eight non-formal schools.

PKSS Annual Reports