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Located 45 km from Mingora, Swat, in the small village of Shaltaloo, the Shantaloo Government Girls Primary School (GGPS) had not been functional since 1998. Caretaker Abu Ali Shah, barely educated but literate, tried to take matters into his own hands and teach. “I don’t know why the government ignored this school or why the teacher didn’t fulfill her responsibility, but it was just too difficult for me to see little girls sitting at the gate of the school every morning, requesting to be let in to learn. And so, I did what I could “, said Shah.

In accordance with government regulations, IDEA-INSPIRE facilitated the formation and registration of a Parent Teacher Council (PTC). Members received comprehensive trainings on roles and responsibilities, and additional support provided by IDEA-INSPIRE education officers. Soon after, the PTC filed a complaint with the Education Department, against the teacher for absenteeism. Their persistence yielded in a warning, by the Deputy District Officer, to the teacher, urging her to resume her position. Continued monitoring efforts of the PTC, resulted in the teacher’s regular attendance, as well as an increase in enrolment – from 90 to 130 girls.

PTC member, Sultana Begum said, “We are so happy to see girls of our village getting an education, since most females here are illiterate and unaware of their rights. I wish to see this new generation of girls engaging with men, in equal roles, for the betterment of their village”