The Frontier Region (FR) Peshawar, being part of the federally administered tribal area (FATA), had no school facilities until 1947, putting the locals at a severe disadvantage, the impact of which is still felt today/the implications of which continue to this day. In the early 1950’s in FATA finding anyone able to read Urdu, let alone English was a struggle.
However, there were a few pioneers in the region. Mian Gul of Mandai village, FR Peshawar, having widely travelled through the Sub Continent, returned to his village a few years before creation of Pakistan. He understood the importance of education. Encouraged by the new Government policies, he made efforts to set up a primary school in Mandai village. With both children and nieces and nephews of primary school age, he intensified his efforts, ultimately succeeding despite strong opposition. The political administration of the new government was in favour of education in tribal areas but the tribesmen, unfortunately, were less open to change.
Construction of the school building started in 1952 amidst high tension and strong lobbying for and against the school. Young boys would come and see the construction of ‘their’ school and dream of the day they would be able to study and play with their friends. However, one of the elders halted construction by telling the political?politician Tehsildar that the education of ‘ferangi’(the English ) would spoil their children. It was a sad day for children of the area and for Mian Gul whose efforts failed to bear fruit.
Greatly disappointed with the inability of the people to feel the winds of change, Mian Gul continued his efforts to build another school in the area. Five years later, in 1957, he succeeded in sanctioning another primary school just inside the settled area on the border of FR Peshawar. This pioneering institution not only helped in producing high calibre doctors, engineers, teachers, army officers and businessmen but also opened flood gates for similar institutions in the area. The School was subsequently upgraded to a Government High School and continues to deliver education to local boys to this day.
The Foundation has opened the first phase (for girls) of a fee-paying educational complex nearby (Mian Gul School) in Shamshatoo in FATA in April 2011 for 12 to 18 year olds to include adult education and training. In addition we are supporting a local madrassa with the intention of bringing it in as a partner in the education system comprising the above schools.