Shimuly grew up in poverty. Her father, Amir, a day labourer, had struggled to support his family of ve until his untimely death. Life, in turn, grew more di cult, and Shimuly’s mother, Arful, began to work as a maid to support the family. With her meagre earnings, meeting the family’s basic needs was a daily battle. Shimuly’s family could hardly a ord to eat twice a day. Against such a backdrop, education seemed beyond the family’s reach. Without the means to purchase necessary school materials, Shimuly and her siblings dropped out of primary school. Soon thereafter, her brother found work as a mechanic’s assistant and Arful arranged a marriage for her eldest daughter.
Then, one day, when DAM sta were conducting a survey in the village to identify out of school children, they found Shimuly. The sta spoke with Arful about her daughter’s education and the possibility of attending a CLC. The centres employ a unique model wherein a multi-grade system allows a teacher to teach students of di erent ages and learning levels in a single classroom. This way children learn at their own pace and the teacher can attend to the needs of individual students. When Arful learnt that children could attend for free and classes would be held in a secure, child-friendly environment, she decided to send Shimuly back to school.
Through a pre-assessment screening, Shimuly enrolled in class two for advanced CLC students. Shimuly nished second overall in her class this year and has already qualified for class five. Her mother is so heartened by her daughter’s progress that she wants Shimuly to continue her studies beyond primary school – regardless of the cost. In fact, when asked of Shimuly’s future, Arful asserts con dently, “We will try our level best to continue her education after she completes CLC.”
Shimuly plans to take the Primary School Certi cate (PSC) examination in 2016 and wants to help her family. She says, “I am very con dent... I want to complete my education. I dream of being a teacher some day.”