Swat: Where Students Come First!
Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten – B.F. Skinner
Swat is a district in Malakand Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan and is renowned for its outstanding natural beauty. Several hundreds of schools for children specially girls sweep across the land where, in 2012, 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban. This is the land where under Taliban control, between 2007 and 2009, schools were destroyed and girls were barred from education. But now educationists find this valley as the most impactful area in Pakistan in terms of education. It has been considered a center of quality education since it was a princely state long ago.
The first-ever school was established in the capital of the former state Saidu Shareef, in 1922. The Swat Valley can be declared as a success story in education in a country where such success stories can sometimes be limited. Institutions like Swat Public School, The Eaglets, was established in 1984 with the sole aim of providing the new generation with a high standard education and an all-round training. The purpose of this training was to develop students’ personalities and character.
“Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” –George Washington Carver
Green Chowk, Mingora previously known as Khooni Chowk (literally “bloody intersection”), is now a hub of institutes that are working on a “student first” policy and are integrating technology in education. The educationists in Swat are addressing the gap of strong leadership in their society by committing to prepare a new generation of leaders who will also be capable of bringing reforms in the lacking systems in place in Pakistan. These brilliantly educated and committed leaders with technology competency will be an asset for the nation and role models for others country-wide.
Education is necessary for all people to acquire a strong knowledge base and to compete in a rapidly evolving world. The education system in Pakistan is currently ill-equipped to produce students that can take on the 21st century. However, we have hope that Pakistan will reach new heights and overcome these challenges through educating and equipping its citizens with the skills to make a difference. Education is the backbone of development of any nation and only through educating our people will we be able to progress.