The Schools

How We Work

"Pehli Kiran" literally means "the first ray of light". The Pehli Kiran schools began with a group of ten children being taught under a tree in 1996, several years prior to the Trust’s registration in September 2000. Today, the system of eight schools provides quality primary education to over 1200 children every year.

The PKSS uses an innovative, community-based approach to take education to children living in ‘katchi abadis’ (slum areas) in and around Islamabad – ironically in some of the most affluent residential areas of the city. These communities have fallen through the cracks of the government’s service delivery system, and have also been overlooked by the non-governmental sector because of their nomadic lifestyles.

The Model

Pehli Kiran infrastructure is simple, consisting of basic shelters with straw mats and a dedicated team equipped with teaching tools. Recognizing the particular needs of the students, the PKSS model is customized to meet the needs of highly vulnerable, very low income communities. This is characterized by the following features:

  • taking the makeshift classroom to the midst of the communities to facilitate access and minimize absenteeism

  • a highly flexible design of school operations to meet community needs, including afternoon shifts and a suitably structured curriculum and exam schedule

  • mainstreaming students into the formal school system after 5th grade and motivating parents to allow continuing schooling (particularly for girls)

  • moving with the communities if relocated as a result of periodic anti-squatter drives.

The flexible, low-cost approach is unique to PKSS, setting it apart from other initiatives in the non-formal education sector.

Take a tour

You can visit the Pehli Kiran Schools 1-8 in sectors F-11, I-10, H-10 and Golra.

Click here to explore the Pehli Kiran School System through pictures