China-built "growing school" helps Pakistani children realize their dreams

Updated: April 23, 2021 Source: Belt and Road Portal
fontLarger fontSmaller

Twelve-year-old Waleed lives in Gwadar, a city in southwestern Pakistan, where schools are scarce and transportation is poor. Despite tuition waiver, it is still difficult for many local children to go to school.

Waleed, the oldest child, and his four brothers and one sister eke out a living by their father's part-time job. Every day, Waleed goes to the seaside to help his father with his work. "It's my dream to go to school, and I often pray that there would be a nice school near my home," Waleed said.

Waleed's prayer was answered in October 2015. In order to improve the local educational conditions, China Foundation for Peace and Development decided to fund the construction of a primary school in the Faqeer Community. The land for the school was donated by a local old man named Shair Mohammad. CCCC-FHDI Engineering Co., Ltd. (FHDI) was responsible for the exploration, design and construction of the school.

With a floor area of about 600 square meters and a designed accommodation of 150 students, Faqeer Primary School was actually built in only 10 months from design to completion. Engineers overcame numerous difficulties such as severe lack of materials and extremely inconvenient transportation, and officially delivered the school for use on August 15, 2016.

Students are having class at Faqeer School. (Photo provided by CCCC)

After the completion of Faqeer Primary School, its good environment and teaching conditions attracted children from several kilometers around to study there, and the number of students surged from 150 to more than 400. In 2018, Faqeer School was upgraded to an integrated primary and secondary school, and the school building became increasingly tight, so China Foundation for Peace and Development decided to fund the expansion of the school. In December 2019, FHDI once again undertook the school's expansion project.

This time, out of gratitude and recognition for Chinese enterprises, villagers volunteered to help solve the electricity, water and other difficulties; material suppliers took the initiative to reduce prices; and other Chinese-funded enterprises in Gwadar also offered their help. With the concerted efforts of all parties, the school expansion project not only proceeded orderly despite the pandemic, but was completed and handed over on June 24, 2020, three months earlier than the plan.

New school buildings are put into use. (Photo provided by CCCC)

With a floor area of about 1,300 square meters, the expanded school can accommodate 1,000 students and is equipped with terraces, multi-functional classrooms and other facilities to meet the needs of future development. Local people call this school a "growing school" from their Chinese friends.

"I love going to school, and I love my school. I will study hard to become a successful man," said Waleed. He knows that the Chinese builders have fulfilled his and his friends' dream of going to school, and one day they will go out of Gwadar to see the wider world outside.

Editor: Yu Huichen