Understanding the Context of Education in an Urban Slum: A Case of Babu Sabu, Lahore

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Mehek Naeem
Naeem Zafar
Atia-ur Rehman
Waseem Akram

Abstract

Article 25 A of the Constitution of Pakistan stipulates that free and compulsory education must be given to all children between the ages of 5 and 16. However, there are gaps in its implementation leaving out pockets such as children in slums. Non-government organizations (NGOs) play an essential part in bridging the said gaps. This study explored the context of education in a slum area located at Babu Sabu Interchange, Lahore where an NGO PAHCHAAN (Protection and Help of Children against Abuse and Neglect)is providing non-formal education to children via community engagement. The current study explored the context of education in a slum where intervention is already implemented through/using the case study method. A survey from all the households in this area (N=26) and a focus group discussion from six mothers were conducted. The results showed a positive attitude of the mothers towards the education of their children, as 65.4% of the participants strongly agreed that it is essential to get children enrolled in schools. The findings from the focus group discussion highlighted several challenges such as the lack of financial resources, distance of school from the slum area, lack of acceptance of over-aged children and a difficult admission procedure. Bullying and cursing were, however, the leading cause of dropping out of regular schools. This preliminary study highlights the importance of taking a strategic approach towards “education for all,” looking at deep-rooted issues so that no child is left behind.

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