Education is a fundamental need of every human being. Education and learning are the distinguishing human characteristics that make us superior to other creatures on this planet. Education helps understand the high values of humanity and assist in making the civilizations just and strong.
Every human being has the right to access education to make full use of their physical and mental potential. Regrettably people with different nationalities, different geographical locations, and different ethnic backgrounds find different education opportunities even in the 21st century. As a result of this anomaly the full potential endowed to great majority of the humans remains underutilized.
Statistics show that even primary education is not accessible to everyone in many countries. Pakistan, a country facing many social challenges, is a typical example with 5611792 primary school age children out of school. In 2014 the primary enrolment rate there was 73%, secondary school 41.2% and tertiary level 10.4%. A major cause of high school dropout in Pakistan was the financial hardship. Even before the adult age many parents encourage their children to leave school and help earn bread and butter for themselves and their family.
Australian Society for Promoting Education (ASPE) started a financial assistance program for the poor and needy students in Pakistan in 2012. The program started with five scholarships for the needy students at The University of Agriculture, Faisalabad. The program rapidly expanded to school and trade education in different areas of Pakistan. Currently ASPE is supporting more than one hundred students in school, trade education, and the university education in various districts of Punjab and KPK.
ASPE’s scholarship program is an Australian community supported initiative. The funds are generally raised through individual contacts and fundraising events and initiatives. The donors are requested to support a deserving university student over a period of four years, trade student for three years, and school student for a period of five years. The community support has been overwhelming so far, helping expand the program rapidly. I greatly appreciate community help to this program.
Many developing countries deserve assistance with their educational programs. Currently this program is focusing on Pakistan but with more resources available to ASPE the program may be extended immediately to other suitable locations.
The people working with ASPE work voluntarily both in Pakistan and Australia. I appreciate the contribution they are making to make this program a success.