According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Education back in 2016, roughly about 24 Million children do not attend schools due to a variety of reasons, poverty being the leading obstacle.
Since Pakistan’s inception in 1947, 7 National Education Policies, 8 extensive 5-year plans and numerous educational schemes have been introduced to put more students in school but not too many benefits.
On the grass-roots level, we all believe that we cannot do anything about the demographics. We believe we do not have enough resources and we lack financial and time independence. So we can’t really do anything about the problems we see, even if we do something we won’t be able to make an impact that can make a difference.
The fact of the matter is that we do not believe in humanity’s capacity to move mountains through their sheer willpower, no matter how “ordinary” they might seem.
Mirza Muhammad Ayub
A powerful example of said character is Master Ayub. Born as Mirza Muhammad Ayub in the small, agricultural town of Mandi Bahauddin. The Pakistan’s Civil Defense employee reached the capital with the ambition to earn a living as a firefighter. But the sheer amount of children working in the streets as peddlers, selling newspapers, flowers and as minimum wages workers in restaurants and kiosks made Mirza Muhammad Ayub do something that no one else could.
He started teaching a child on an impulse that quickly escalated into him teaching four children, then fifty, and now, there are more than two hundred students in Master Ayub’s open-air school located in F6 Park, Islamabad.
Now 59, the rescue worker started his teaching endeavours more than three decades ago. He is now Known to the children of extremely low-income families both Muslim and Christians, as their beloved “Master Ayub”. He has been dedicating his after-hours and weekends to the children, making tremendous efforts to ensure they get a fair chance at living a prosperous life.
Master Ayub’s Park School (MAPS) is providing children of slums a shot at a respectable life. Simultaneously ensuring that through the beacon of education the dark aspects of life like terrorism and criminal practices are eradicated. The increase in illiteracy will result in a higher amount of educated workforce, ultimately raising Pakistan from the ranks of a ‘Developing Country’ to amongst the ‘Developed’ ones.
For his extensive efforts over time, Master Ayub has been awarded Pride of Performance along with other accolades from the Ministry of Education and Webby Award. MAPS also has an official Facebook page that is promoting M. Ayub’s vision. He is making efforts in the progress of our country single-handedly and is doing a marvellous job at it.
May Allah help us prosper by creating more men like Master Ayub.
Master Ayub was recently invited to NUST as a motivational speaker. HEC has set a community service course in all bachelor degrees. This means a lot of welfare projects are underway. This includes a lot of attention towards Master Ayub’s school. Every year, students from all Islamabad-Rawalpindi universities who visit MAPS and interact with Master Ayub and his students, often bearing resources for school’s development.
- Edhi started as a one-man operation from a single room in Karachi.
- MAPS started from teaching a single child in the park of Islamabad.
That being said not only should we appreciate our benefactors like Master Ayub, but also assist them.
That is the least we can do.