Engro Foundation Reading Program: Corporate Social Responsibility Strengthens Literacy in Pakistan

An estimated 70% of primary school children in Pakistan are unable to read a simple sentence – Engro Foundation aims to change this by launching a reading program in its 13 adopted schools of Qadirpur and Daharki. The 18 month program was launched with a grant of PKR 22 million from USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program. Engro Foundation, the social investment arm of Engro Corporation is leading the implementation efforts for ERP.

The “Engro Reading Program,” (ERP) provides 1,300+ primary school children with Information Communication Tools (ICT) to further their reading skills in Urdu, Sindhi, and English. The grant also includes language laboratories with computers, winter and summer camps, and inter and intra school competitions in reading and spelling.

The success of a child’s education extends beyond the student to the entire family. With this in mind, Engro Foundation has provided a participatory approach for the program to include community sessions and storytelling initiatives to record folk tales for children by parents, older siblings, and grandparents.

Under the umbrella of this grant, adult literacy classes will also commence with 200 women from neighboring communities, to further basic literacy and numeracy skills in everyday life. Alongside these activities teacher trainings will also take place, to build the capacities of teachers, specifically with regard to reading pedagogy in schools.

ERP has made numerous achievements since its founding – the team has established 13 computer labs and library corners in each school to enhance reading capacities of 1,300+ children at the primary level. Teacher training, an integral part of the program has been strengthened with 8,160 hours of training conducted. The training targets the capacity building of teachers at all the adopted schools for the enhancement of early grade reading. Regular community sessions are held for parents and community influencers of adopted schools to maintain their investment in the education of their children, with 52 sessions conducted so far. As part of the program 65 stories in Sindhi from across adopted school children communities are now documented. Development of literature in a local language that the community can relate will help with the long term sustainability of reading program.

To learn more about Engro Foundation, please visit: http://www.engrofoundation.com