Mian Gul Model (MGM) School and Brig Gul Man (BGM) School
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 to this day. In the early 1950s 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 the 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 of his own, 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 tribal elders halted construction by arguing that “ferangi” (“western”) education would spoil their children. It was a sad day for the 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 establishing 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 the 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.
It was Mian Gul’s younger cousin, Rahim Gul, who took education to a higher level in the region. Although he was from humble origins, and like most tribesmen of that time was himself uneducated, he wanted his children to acquire higher education in order to become useful members of society. Over time his children became a beacon of hope and progress for the people of FR Peshawar. His oldest son graduated from college in 1960, did his masters and got a commission in the Pakistan Army. The second son got a commission in the Pakistan Air Force, while the third son became a doctor and attended higher education in the UK. The fourth son qualified as a mechanical engineer.
In honour of these two pioneers in local education, Abaseen Foundation named their first school after Mian Gul, and have now decided to name the whole educational complex of the MGM School for Girls and the BGM School for Boys after Rahim Gul. This site is now known as the Rahim Educational Complex, and it is hoped that this will evolve over time to incorporate a college and ultimately a university.
Mian Gul Model (MGM) School
As there was no provision for girls education in the area, the Abaseen Foundation bought land in Shamshatoo and constructed a purpose-built school for girls, known as the Mian Gun School after the pioneering work of Mian Gul (see above). The first phase opened in April 2011. It was a fee-paying educational complex and was intended for girls from 12 to 18 year olds, with a wider plan to expand it eventually to include adult education and training, with a new boys school next door, the whole to be known as the Rahim Education Complex.
This school is now successfully established with ? classes and ? teachers, teaching over 300 girls from the ages of 12 to 16. In 2019 girls from the school participated for the first time in the O level equivalent exams, and the results were outstanding, with 10 girls obtaining an A grade, 6 girls obtaining a B grade, and 4 girls obtaining a C grade.
[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.?]
Brig(r) Gul Man (BGM) School
Having established a successful girls school in Shamshatoo, Abaseen Foundation decided to build a new boys school next to the girls school. Plans were finalised in May 2017 and construction of the BGM school started on phase 1 (completed 2018). It is planned that phase 2 and 3 will be completed by 2020.
The plan comprises 15 classrooms, 4 laboratories, one principal’s office, one staff room, toilets and a kitchen, spread over two floors. The rooms will accommodate 12 classes and will provide education up to A-level with all the necessary support infrastructure. Funding for building the school has mainly come from money raised by three challenge treks in Pakistan in 2017, 2018, and 2019, which between them have raised over £250,000, plus money from the BIZIFED project.
The current student intake (2019) is 188 students in 7 classes, but this will increase to 450 once the construction is finished and the school has been registered as a Higher Secondary College.