In episode 15 of Lit’EDTech Fiesta, Daastan invites Kiran Rukhsana to talk about the MicroScholarship Program in Pakistan. The speaker, Kiran Rukhsana serves as the director of English access program at Anjuman Faiz ul Islam. She is also a linguist with teaching experience spanning 11 years, currently teaching at the Rifa International University. On top of that she is also the founder of a youth led educational organisation: Yaduri.
MicroScholarship Program transforming the lives of orphans in Pakistan
Differing from traditional scholarships, the MicroScholarship program specifically caters to the underprivileged strata of society. Its success is perceived through its presence in over 87 countries. Further, it points towards what the privileged owe to society on a larger scale. This leads one to think of their individual roles in elevating the downtrodden.
The Potential within the Education sector
When asked about what attracts her towards the education sector, Ms.Kiran points towards the sheer flow of knowledge. She believes it’s a two way street. From not only the teacher to the student, but also the student to the teacher.
“You are never outdated if you are a teacher”. — Kiran
In addition to that, widening the scope of one’s influence towards people who truly need it provides an extremely gratifying experience. While talking about the bright and intelligent underprivileged children of Pakistan, she says “Invest in them and you’ll get a reward”.
Bridging gaps between education and class: MicroScholarships
MicroScholarships act as a tool in ensuring that the underprivileged get “access to the opportunities” that could potentially help them be socially mobile. These programs are funded by the US embassy. They support and sponsor English language opportunities and specifically focus on the underprivileged group.
The only eligibility requirements are to be bright and not from the elite class. With such a criteria one sees the orphans of Pakistan gaining access to much needed opportunities. Ms. Kiran quotes an example by talking about the Apna Ghar orphanage, whose residents can avail programs like this free of cost.
“We are giving opportunities to the students who cannot go abroad otherwise, who cannot get a good education otherwise”.
Moreover, before COVID the program would allow for students to be sent abroad for conferences. However even within the current two year program, they receive a “complete package”.
Personal contributions towards Educating the children of Pakistan
Deviating from state sponsored efforts, Ms. Kiran’s organization, Yaduri, sheds light on the importance of individual contribution. It aims to “educate the less privileged group of society”, including Afghani students as well. Currently they are hoping to collaborate with the Turkish government in order to initiate exchange programs.
Kiran’s grandfather who was an orphan himself, is her inspiration. With her grandfather’s story in mind, she is doing everything she can to help the orphans. It is evident that as citizens of the state we owe a certain responsibility to those less lucky than others. She urges students to do volunteer work, and put in effort in doing something marvellous for your country.
You can stream the full episode here. We hope you are enjoying Lit’EDTech Fiesta! For upcoming episodes, stay tuned.