The identities of Rabtt and RSP are inexorably tied together. It was the first program conducted by the organisation in the summer of 2011 at a single public school for boys in Lahore; around 12 volunteers signed up and 10 students showed up the first day. The idea had emerged among a small group of friends and mutual acquaintances as an attempt to address what we believed were the central issues with education in Pakistan:
- Discouraging critical, independent thinking through relying on memorization, and focusing on regurgitating ‘correct answers’ rather than developing the ability to question.
- Teaching and espousing narratives of exclusion and hatred for ‘the other’, and hence creating a lack of empathy we believe contributes to both large-scale acts of terrorism and the smaller, yet no less painful,. aggressions we commit against each other.
- Classrooms built around fear and corporal punishment, rather than respectful spaces for mutual learning.
- Limited room to explore intersectionality among different subjects, their practical applications, as well as limited access to extra-curricular activities in most low-cost schools.
- A disconnect between students from low-cost and high-end schools.
Our solution – changed and improved over the years – still attempts to address these issues.
Download more additional resources and detailed information about the program from HERE