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Prior to the Spark of Hope School opened in 2004, formal education was nearly non-existent in Goharabad. The nearest school was 10 kilometers away; nonetheless, the determination of the children is illuminated by the fact that some children as young as 6 years old made this journey every single day. Some mothers would carry their children to this school; most however, did not have this opportunity for reasons of economic and social hardship.
Pre-Spark of Hope
The relentless desire of the people of Goharabad to provide their children with an education, amalgamated into the creation of a small outdoor area with chalkboards on the walls where the students would be taught; there were no classrooms, grades, curriculum, teaching materials, opportunity to learn English, or any hope of progressing on to higher education. The vast majority of the children still did not attend school and instead helped their families with farming related work, thereby perpetuating the intergenerational cycle of poverty.
Since the construction of the new school, every child in Goharabad attends school, at least up to the Junior high level. The caliber of the curriculum and teaching is by far the best in the region, and the state-of-the-art Computer Centre prepares children for jobs in nearby urban regions. The Spark of Hope School does not deny access to any child with a desire to learn, welcoming those even from neighboring villages. This generosity and abundance has played a pivotal role in breaking down gender-based barriers to education. Students are not only taught values of meritocracy and equality, but are soon fluent in English as the full curriculum is taught in English. Language has been found to be a critical entry skill to gaining meaningful employment in Gilgit, Ghizer, Baltikstan and abroad.