Islamabad: One day on the Indus River, a fisherman decided to change his life. Imran Ali Mallah had worked to make ends meet his entire life, working seven days a week in blistering heat and often coming home empty-handed. Weary of the unpredictability of the fishing trade and inspired by an advertisement he saw in the newspaper,
Imran decided to become a teacher.
Imran had seen an advertisement for the Associate’s Degree in Education Program (ADE), an initiative of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) that provides training in modern teaching methods to new and experienced teachers, improving the education of students all over Pakistan. More than 2600 students are currently enrolled in the two-year ADE program and the four-year Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) created through USAID assistance and accredited by the Government of Pakistan. Additionally, USAID has awarded nearly 1,000 scholarships for B. Ed and ADE degrees. The U.S.-funded project works with the federal and provincial governments, the Higher Education Commission, provincial
departments of education, 15 universities, and 75 teacher colleges.
Imran committed himself to this new endeavour. He travelled four hours each day from his home in Jamshoro to the Provincial Institute of Teacher Education in Nawabshah to pursue his ambition of becoming a teacher. He received excellent grades, and completed the ADE program.
Today, Imran’s future looks secure. Instead of toiling each day on his boat, he teaches young people, and hopes that they too will have the opportunity for a better future. “Changing the mindset of the youth toward learning and success is very important for the citizens of our
country,” said Imran. “It enables personal growth. I hope to pass on this beacon of knowledge.”
Imran credits the U.S.-funded education program with his success. “The ADE program has been a source of inspiration,” says Imran. “It enabled me to switch my profession from fishing to teaching. With its advanced teaching methods, it has brought classrooms to life, which has made both teachers and students open to change.”
ADE is just one of the many U.S.-funded projects that help millions of Pakistani children unlock their full potential. The United States is launching new degree programs in education at 90 teacher colleges and universities, and is also building new applied research centers at
Pakistani universities that focus on energy, water and agriculture. More than 10,600 low-income students attend college in Pakistan with U.S.-funded scholarships.