Out of School Children of ShirAbad
ShirAbad is a marginal, deprived district in Zahedan. Its children have been deprived of education for various reasons: not having an ID card, poverty, child labor, child marriage and not knowing Persian language.
Educating these children started from 2019, when more than 260 started their education journey in first and second grade with the Basic Literacy Creative Education system of Read with Me.
Children living in bilingual areas, are mostly unfamiliar with standard Persian language and face many problems in the traditional education system. The Read with Me Basic Literacy Creative Education system reliably educates such children with emphasis on phonological and phonemic awareness skills. In the program specifically designed for ShirAbad children, first graders learn the necessary skills for developing their reading and writing skills.
Education and Health, Hand in Hand
COVID-19 posed a threat to these children’s education. But because of their unique circumstance, their health and education had to come hand in hand. Therefore, with special considerations and health protocols, their education restarted in small groups. The lack of access to sanitary products, clean water and appropriate sewerage in this district meant that children’s presence in school could be an overall healthier option.
Mehdi Rigizadeh and Abdolghafour Shahbakhsh, two Read with Me ambassadors in Sistan and Balouchestan province have taken responsibility to continue educating ShirAbad teachers through Read with Me workshops. They also visit the school and supervise its progress.
As of last year, for the reopening, Read with Me sent the necessary resources and books to ShirAbad students and teachers. However, every child received their own set of Learning Persian package this year, so they wouldn’t have to share resources with other children.
Who Supports These Children?
Implementing the Read with Me program for out of school children in ShirAbad has been made possible through support from Yaran-e Danesh va Mehr Association (AYDM). The Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature, Kousha Institute, and Afarinesh-e Ayandeh Institute collaborate in this project. The education program and curriculum, educational resources and supervising the education progress is done by the Read with Me team.