Can education accessibility in rural areas be improved?
Malcolm X, when talking about education, mentioned it is the passport to the future, “for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”. It is one of the most important indicators for a country’s development. Yet, education in Pakistan is well below the expected standards. Even after years of investments, reforms and promises, the education sector remains weak in Pakistan. Increase in budget have occurred but enrollment in schools remains low, quality of learning is poor, and there are not enough buildings or teachers.
Currently Pakistan has the second highest number of students out of school in the world. The lack of funding and resource allocation towards education (at just 2.8% of the GDP) has led to 22.8 million children in the 5–16 age groups being out of school. Some of the reasons children drop out or don’t go to school in the first place include the families’ needs to keep children at home to help with farm work and other income-generating activities, and the inability to pay the expenses related to education
While more than 32% of primary age girls are out of school, the effect of the lack of educational resources worsens the gender disparity in rural areas. In some rural areas of Pakistan, illiteracy rates amongst women remain at 90 percent, with some villages 150 km from the nearest school.
PES data shows that approximately 9% of schools do not have a building available. This implies that 9 out of 100 schools are held out in the open, putting students’ health at risk. Furthermore, even for schools that have buildings, a large number of them are in disrepair. Further, only 58% of schools have access to electricity, and approximately 68% have access to drinking water (PES 2015–16).
Our solution to the lack of infrastructure is using Modular Housing technology to create schools. Modulus Housing units can be customized to create educational units or schools, providing a cheap and quick opportunity to increase educational access in the rural areas. The product is not just more portable/transport friendly allowing easier access to inaccessible areas, but it is also more cost friendly for the educational budget that is under-funded at the moment. Modulus housing provides a solution to maximize utility from the available resources and help provide education for a brighter future for Pakistan tomorrow.
Prefabricated or “Modular” houses are constructed in a factory before shipping and assembled on site. Compared to traditional house construction, the assembling requires less space and is completed much faster (can be done in 3 hours). That is why you now see stunning state-of-the-art houses in the woods where it is deemed as a normally difficult environment for house construction, or jaw-dropping structures completed in less time than traditional structures around the world.
The structures are quick to assemble and are cost-efficient, they are built to last and they leave a much smaller carbon footprint than traditional housing. Off-site construction also means fewer builders are required, which solves another problem facing the industry — a shortage of skilled workers. Most important of all they are both affordable and relocatable. These structures can also be extended and used for different purpose during summer vacations.
With Abstract Hub and Modulus Home, schools can be built in remote areas at lower prices that are repurpose-able and last. By providing these school buildings to underdeveloped communities, we can join hands to take a step closer to a more educated Pakistan and increase our chances for prosperity as a nation.