After reading this spotlighted World Pulse article, I was incredibly stricken for a few reasons. First, I began doing reviews for school work in a mood that was pretty wholly resentful. How limited of a view that feeling stemmed from! I am sitting here complaining about schoolwork while there is such a courageous woman risking her life and livelihood daily to achieve her mission of spreading education to girls in Pakistan. From a young age, Sister Zeph worked hard to educate herself, her family, and all who would give consent for their child to be taught. Like stated, I feel that education is America is sometimes taken for granted. This article clarified the war against educating women in this world. "Roughly 5.5 million school-aged children in Pakistan are not in school—the second highest number in the world. More than half of Pakistan’s out-of-school children are girls." There is enough women barred from receiving formal schooling in Pakistan to run a decent metropolitan area. These women are all ages, and Sister Zeph focuses on developing their reading and language skills and locating their passions. Another truly stunning thing about Zephaniah Free School is the way Sister Zeph was able to utilize the internet to teach and help her students discover literally a whole new world. She discusses beginning the school with night classes after her day job, having little to no resources (including a building), but with utilization of the Internet, Sister Zeph learned many topics, including English, and developed a platform to generate support and a world wide following. Sister Zeph was able to challenge girls ideas about themselves and their abilities and empower them to make those choices through online resources and supports. “Can you imagine? My students ask me questions about lava; they ask me to tell them about the history of Egypt; they pray for peace in Syria, they can tell you so much about the culture of the USA; they want to make electricity themselves… Using digital tools, my girls are learning what we cannot teach them.” Something that I thought was very interested was the use of other contributors onto World Pulse from other countries to teach the children. Sister Zeph recently won an award for her amazing work, which will provide substantial financial resources to hire teachers and provide a safe building for learning. However, due to the social norms in her area, many families refuse to allow their daughters to attend, and sister Zeph has had two violent attempts to stop her work, but she states she will not give up her purpose. In closing, I would like to quote this phenomenally resourceful and tenacious woman, as her purpose is admirable and her views on education should be shared, “my purpose is not only to teach students to read books and to get degrees. I am making them change makers; I teach them to recognize their calling because when we come to know our purpose of life it makes us successful.” I love hearing what support world wide communities united by online interactions and especially in such a wealth of knowledge and varied perspectives.
Region South and Central Asia