Partab Rai’s approach
For almost 20 years, Partab has worked as a teacher and principal in Tharparkar. His students defy many challenges to go to school — and these barriers disproportionately affect the girls. To create systemic change and help more girls learn, Partab decided to change careers and began working in the development sector. After working at SEARCH and Alif Ailaan, he founded the Thar Education Alliance to secure the government funding needed to improve learning outcomes for girls in Sindh and especially Tharparkar. As CEO, Parab organised Thar Science Festival and Laar Science Festival, two of the biggest science festivals in Sindh. The events brought together government officials, STEM organisations, students and teachers to discuss the need to improve quality education in the region and focus on math and science learning.
With his Malala Fund grant, Partab will advocate for district and provincial leaders to allocate more funding to girls’ education. An increase in education spending would mean the government could recruit more female teachers, improve teaching methods and establish science and math programmes in schools. To lead this campaign across the district, Partab will recruit and train 50 young women ages 18-35 in advocacy techniques. These young activists will meet with teachers and host community meetings to discuss the importance of girls’ education and what needs to change. Their conversations will encourage others in the community to demand that the government increase investment in girls’ education to improve math and science classes. The activists will also organize science and math activities for girls and meet with members of the private sector to secure additional funding for girls’ STEM education.