Teaching in Pakistan

Teaching is a challenging profession the world over. Farah, a teacher at Barakat Pakistan’s Ersari Elementary School, has special challenges to face. She teaches children that are often from low-income backgrounds, children that sometimes face cultural or religious opposition to going to school. “When students drop out, that’s the hardest part,” she says.


Farah is 28 years old. She speaks Urdu, Punjabi, and English. She started teaching in 2004. She was trained in government schools; despite the fact that it was difficult at times to afford her education, her family was always supportive. Farah chose to teach for two reasons. She liked the profession, but more importantly, she wanted to help her students “keep in touch with their moral values. ” For Farah, knowing right from wrong is the most important part of being a successful part of society.

Each day, Farah wakes up at 5 am and makes herself a fried egg, which she eats with paratha, a kind of flatbread. She does her household chores, which include feeding her parrots and puppy. Her mother, brother, and sister all work as well. The morning is their time to be together. They usually pray early in the morning.

Afterwards, she sets off to school, where she teaches English, Urdu, and Religious Studies. She thinks that ethics are one of the most important things that children can learn. “I start each day with an ethical lesson. It’s routine with me.” She teaches children of all ages, typically ranging from 11 to 17. She teaches multiple grades as well. She takes a break in the middle of the day to eat and chat with the other teachers, who are friends as well as colleagues. “We work in a very friendly environment,” says Farah.

At 1:45, school is over for the day, and she heads home for a short break before starting her second job—teaching at Barakat’s Evening School for Girls. When asked what her favorite part of the day was, Farah replied, “Teaching. And I teach in the morning and the evening, so my whole day is best. ” Farah teaches until 6 pm and then goes home to her family to eat dinner before heading to bed at 11 pm. When she is not teaching, sometimes she likes to read the dictionary—she says it is one of her favorite books. Other than that, she says, “I do not think I could do any more work. ”

Farah experiences difficulties every day in her teaching. “I wish we had a proper computer lab, and a playground,” she says. But it is also very rewarding. “It’s an honor to build the characters of innocent kids and impart modern developments in their minds. Only a teacher can do this, and this feeling makes me think of myself as the happiest and most satisfied person in this whole world. ”