Education remains one of the most significant indicators of social progress playing a decisive role for a society to achieve self-sustainability and equitable development.
Education is recognized as one of the top priorities by the UN, and is a critical parameter of the UN Millennium Development Goals; only second to extreme poverty eradication.
At Mobilink, the leadership believes that the long term socio economic well-being of communities is dependent on proliferation of education and strengthening of educational institutions. Education, because of the remarkable social uplift that it promises, remains the foremost CR priority as it is considered to be the only veritable sustainable development tool.
Inventing New Means of Education
Mobilink Foundation has put its heart out towards inventing and adopting new means of educating Pakistan and has set forth its vital objectives to materialize these new ways. The main objectives of Mobilink’s education drive are:
- To promote the use of cellular technology as a tool to increase the outreach and quality of educational programs
- To develop and sustain long term relationships with credible educational institutions
- To assist non-conventional educational institutions with capacity building.
Foundation’s Education Related Initiatives in 2015
Activity with the residents of Safina Children Home
The Mobilink Foundation collaborated with Safina Children Home in order to spend an evening with 60 residents orphaned as a result of the 2005 earthquake. The children took part in several entertaining activities that included painting, tug-of-war, sack race, frisbee, cricket and football. Refreshments and school bags were also distributed amongst the children.
|Impact||60 residents of Safina Children Home|
|Partners||Safina Children Home|
Pehli Kiran School System Annual Day
The Mobilink Foundation continued its association with the PKSS by holding their annual day to mark the end of the academic year (2014-15).
The event aimed at applauding the efforts of young students who are dedicatedly perusing education despite difficult circumstances. 150 school bags, containing stationary and painting material, were distributed while torchbearers also spent time interacting with the children and their families in order to promote development of personal growth and self-esteem.
|Contribution||150 School bags|
|Partners||Pehli Kiran School System|
Book Reading Activity at Greenland Society of Special Education
Mobilink Foundation and volunteers carried out a visit to the Greenland Society of Special Education (GSSE), a non-commercial institute, in Lahore. A team of Mobilink Torchbearers aligned a host of activities including a poem recitation competition, storytelling and interactive sessions to make the day memorable for the students. Goody bags comprising of coloring books, coloring pencils, Ludo, toys, and edibles were distributed amongst the students at the conclusion of the activity.
|Contribution||Volunteer Hours/ Giveaways|
|Partners||Greenland Society of Special Education|
Mobilink upgrades Women Welfare and Development Center
Mobilink upgraded the Women Welfare and Development Center, Islamabad by setting up a Stitching and Sewing facility. The facility- with 10 sewing machines was inaugurated by Mobilink’s CR Team and Torchbearers in an activity held at the Center. The upgraded vocational training center will organize swing, cutting and stitching classes for the women of Islamabad and surrounding areas. The 6-months course, offered at the center, aims at empowering women beneficiaries with skills that they can utilize in earning a living for their family and to teach others
|Contribution||Monetary/ Volunteer Hours|
|Partners||Women Welfare & development center|
Mobilink Connectivity Drive
Mobilink donated 10 smart phones along with data enabled SIMS to Pehli Kiran School System Campuses. The mobile phones are being used for installation of Government provided ‘Mobile Emergency Alert System for Schools’ which to connect local schools with Police and other law enforcement agencies. The software, downloaded onto an Android smart handset, can be prompted to notify the above mentioned if the educational establishment is faces with the threat of or a potential occurrence of terrorism, fire, kidnapping or robbery.
|Contribution||Smartphones/ Mobilink Data services|
|Partners||Pehli Kiran School System|
Teach to Transform
Mobilink conducted a ‘Teach 2 Transform 2015’ (T2T) activity at the Master Ayub Park School. Mobilink’s employee volunteers spent their time at the school by providing teaching support to students who were struggling academically, and required additional tuition. The activity was concluded with the distribution of necessary course books, self-help reading materials and stationery amongst students.
TB visit to Al-Farabi National Special Education Center
Mobilink Foundation commemorated the national day for disability day by organizing a Disability Equality Training at the Mobilink House in Islamabad. The training was aimed to equip participants with a working knowledge of disability and to ecognize discriminatory language and practices.
Following the training, Mobilink Torchbearers visited the Al-Farabi National Special Education Centre for Physically Handicapped in G-8/4,Islamabad where they engaged in an interactive session with children with special needs, which included a discussion on their aspirations and plans for the future
|Conducted||December , 2015|
Foundation’s Education Related Initiatives in 2014
Teach To Transform
Mobilink Foundation launched the ‘Teach 2 Transform 2014’ (T2T) initiative to educate the underprivileged across Pakistan. The activity was conducted in Master Ayub’s Park School where Torchbearers participated in teaching students ranging from age 4 – 15.
Children Painting Competition
Mobilink in concert with Islamabad Traffic Police organized a children painting competition, aimed at educating them about road safety. Students from different schools and the special children were the participants of the event.
mTaleem SMS Based Literacy Program
Entering into its 4th phase the program will be implemented in the following three districts of Sindh:
- Shaheed Benazirabad
Annual Student Day at Al-Farabi Special Education Centre
Mobilink Foundation helped organized the annual student day at Al-Farabi National Special Education Centre for Physically Handicapped Children. Mobilink Torchbearers distributed goody bags containing stationary and painting material amongst successful students.
Mobilink Foundation Computer Lab – Swabi, KPK
The Foundation partnered with Ranra School, Swabi to set up a state-of-the-art ICT Lab. The partnership has resulted in the school being able to provide computer based education to more than 200 enrolled students, as well as training its teachers using latest IT syllabus. The latest computer lab is the 4th facility set up as a part of Mobilink’ s Corporate Responsibility educational initiatives in the past two years.
The Citizen Foundation Rahbar Program
Mobilink Torchbearers- Central in collaboration with the Citizen’s Foundation arranged an orientation session on its Rahbar (volunteer teaching) program in Lahore and Faisalabad. The sessions, attended by over 30 torchbearers, was aimed towards providing mentors to the deserving students. 11 Mobilink employees have been shortlisted by the TCF for the program starting 12th April 2014.
Mobilink Foundation visit to Greenland School
Mobilink Torchbearers from Central Region recently visited Greenland School for Special Children, Lahore. The full day event comprised of various fun filled and interactive activities including storytelling and painting with the special students of the school. Torchbearers also distributed goodie bags that included gift items for the children along with scrumptious delights which made the day memorable for them.
Visit to SOS Children Village – Quetta
Mobilink’s inaugural activity in Quetta, Baluchistan was commissioned at the SOS Children Village Quetta. The Torchbearers spent the day with the resident children at the facility and organized interactive activities including storytelling, board games, cartoon viewing and character plays. The Torchbearers also distributed giveaways.
Foundation’s Education Related Initiatives in 2013
mTaleem SMS Based Literacy Program
Mobilink’s ‘SMS Based Literacy’ program works in collaboration with UNESCO to educate rural women via mobile phones. The project is the first and the only Value Added Service in Pakistan that employs a hybrid of m-learning & class room environment, and serves rural women, a group almost entirely excluded from the conventional educational system in Pakistan. A mLiteracy platform specially developed by Mobilink for the project helps teachers to disseminate basic literacy curriculum via SMS. Designated project facilitators organize classes in learners’ respective villages, and access the platform via GPRS to update the syllabus. Learners respond to MCQs sent by SMS; the results of which are logged by the platform to monitor learners’ progress in learning and usage behavior.
As the technical facilitator, Mobilink also provided free uninterrupted cellular connectivity needed to enable teachers and learners to sustain the flow of educational material. UNESCO provided the curriculum suited to the regional socio-cultural sensitivities. It has also engaged and managed local support partners tasked to organize village learning sessions.
The project was piloted in 2009 when it enrolled a total of 250 female learners of rural Punjab. At the end of its 3rd Phase, the project had been able to reach out to 4000 learners who were provided basic literacy skills by means of interactive lessons via SMS. In its 4th Phase, in addition to the 2000 new enrolments, the project is also being used for capacity building of school teachers. The project’s geographical outreach has been expanded to Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa (KPK), Sindh, Islamabad Capital Territory and Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA).
Mobilink’s SMS based literacy program has enabled rural women to better manage domestic finances in the absence of their male guardians. Basic education has also incited interest in vocational trainings amongst rural women, some of whom have convinced their husbands to have them enrolled at local training and vocational centres. Moreover the program has noticeably reduced gender bias to mobile set ownership and the participants have reported a heightened sense of security as a result of having an access to means of communication.
Teach to Transform (T2T) – A Nationwide Initiative
Teach to Transform, Mobilink’s student mentorship program that assigns volunteers to various schools across the country is yet another innovative intervention by the Foundation. The program is designed with the aim to improve the quality of teaching and curriculum at under-resourced educational institutions.
As a pilot, Mobilink Foundation formed an association with Defense Society Residents Association (DSRA), Karachi, where the Mobilink Torchbearers dedicated two hours each, every week to assist students with classroom tuitions. The project, over 8 weeks, included interactive mentorship sessions designed to help students perform better in annual examination. The initiative also emphasized on the importance of extra-curricular activities as these are known to help with personality and character building. Since its inception, the project has also been commissioned in North region at Master Ayub’s Park School and various campuses of Jahangir Akhtar Qureshi (JAQ) Trust Schools.
Mobilink Foundation has also donated teaching aids to its partner schools including note and syllabus prescribed text books, white boards, stationary, school bags and seating.
Enabling underprivileged school children of Islamabad to read and to have access to books, Mobilink took a progressive initiative by handing over a Mobile Library (a Suzuki Bolan van modified to carry books) to the students of Pehli Kiran School System (PKSS). The Pehli Kiran School System, operating under the Jamshed Akhtar Qureshi Trust, is a unique network of schools, catering children from transient communities living on the fringes of our cities. This facility of the Mobile Library caters the needs of the students, mostly resident of squatter communities in and around Islamabad.
Earlier, the JAQ Trust students did not have access to a library and the absence of a proper storage place, the static nature of a typical library and the cost associated with developing one for each campus were the main factors that kept the children from frequent access to books. The Mobile Library filled the gap by providing a designated vehicle to carry books and an unmatched way of taking education to students of JAQ Trust in the form of a library.
The Mobile Library serves more than 1400 students, traveling between the 8 PKSS schools during their ‘reading periods’ each week, in Islamabad and adjourning areas campuses. Students can chose and learn from a vast collection of books including story books, activity books, fairy tales and general knowledge.
Leading by example, Mobilink’s mobile library is a first of its kind educational initiative in the country that is aimed at making a difference in the way children learn every day.
Mobilink Foundation ICT Labs
Mobilink Foundation continues to work with various educational institutions across the country to improve the curriculum quality and its delivery. Along with providing conventional education, Mobilink Foundation aims at imparting the 21st century education which is based on technology. The Foundation setup two computer lab facilities in 2013, with the aim to make basic education and ICT facilities available across Pakistan.
In June 2013, Mobilink Foundation partnered with Kashmir Orphan Relief Trust (KORT) home to more than 200 children who lost their families as result of the 2005 devastating earthquake, occurred in the northern areas of Pakistan. The established computer lab facility comprised a total of ten computer systems serving the resident students.
In September 2013, the Foundation partnered with the Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) to set up its second computer lab facility for the year at a local secondary school in District Chakwal. The partnership resulted in the school being able to provide computer based education to students as well as training its teachers in line with the latest technology curriculum. The Lab facility included provision of five latest computer systems, as well as an integrated communications facility to enable online lessons within the lab.
Children Painting Competition
To encourage safety on roads, Mobilink Foundation partnered with the Islamabad Traffic Police to organize the annual painting competition for school children. The competition arranged in February 2013, invited more than 1200 school children (aged 7 – 14) providing them an opportunity to use their creativity and imagination to paint and sketch their understanding of road safety and hazard perception on the road. The students were also provided orientation from traffic education experts on the safety of your family and that of others on the road. The event with an overall attendance of over 1,500 individuals was one of the most successful CR activities of 2013 and resulted in notable Shared Value. Mobilink Foundation-ITP Painting competition received impressive media coverage.
Foundation’s Education Related Initiatives in 2012 and Before
The Award Winning ‘Sms Based Literacy’ Program
The Mobilink Foundation is enabling innovative access to education in areas that previously had no access to conventional means of education. In 2009, Mobilink partnered with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to launch the first and till date only service in Pakistan that utilizes Short Messaging Service (SMS) to impart education to learners across Pakistan.
Over the course of the last three years (2010 – 2012), Mobilink has worked with UNESCO and its local implementing partners (BUNYAD and DAMP) to address the gap in access to education. The program was designed using mobile phones to develop a mobile-based, distance post-literacy program where new literates would receive post-literacy materials as messages on their mobile handsets
Not only has the program won international accolades, it has also become one of the most successful distance-learning programs in Pakistan, and has achieved more significance in context of being targeted specifically at female learners across the rural segments of Pakistan. By the end of 2012, 4,000 female learners across Punjab and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa had benefitted from the program.
Participating female learners have shown a marked improvement in their skills and have managed to overcome socio-cultural barriers traditionally associated with owning a cell phone. The program teachers also report a stark improvement in the confidence of the participants as owning a mobile phone made a difference to their sense of security.
Mobilink honored its commitment to the LUMS National Outreach Program to fund 5 Scholars for the duration of their education. These scholars graduated from LUMS in 2012.
The National Outreach Program at LUMS was launched in 2001, with the aim of providing educational opportunities to bright and talented students from smaller cities, villages and inner city areas of large urban centers who are unable to meet the program’s regular fee requirement.
Deserving students with exceptional Matric and FA/FSc results (80% & above) are encouraged to apply through the National Outreach Program for a four year Undergraduate Program. Students receive coaching and guidance for the LUMS entrance test and then receive a 100% Scholarship for the four year program.
Partnering with schools
The Mobilink Foundation also works closely with a number of schools to facilitate the improvement of education standards for our host communities. Over the last few years we have worked with the Pehli Kiran School Network which provides education to children from under-privileged areas surrounding Islamabad. In addition to donating school supplies, Mobilink Torchbearers have contributed time and effort in renovating the school to provide a safe and child-friendly environment for students. In 2012, Mobilink also partnered with Developments in Literacy (DIL) to set up a Computer Lab at the DIL Model School in the Khuda ki Basti community in Kala Shah Kaku near Sheikhupura.