Education Champion Network

Partab Rai Shivani

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Thar Education Alliance Champion since 2020
“Educated daughters guarantee an educated society.”
Training young women to advocate for the government funding needed for accessible, quality education

The Issue

Tharparkar is one of the poorest districts in Pakistan with some of the worst education outcomes for girls in the country. Just 18% of the population is literate and only 24% of schools teach girls. Lack of investment in girls’ education has left the district’s schools with inadequate facilities and a shortage of trained teachers. Subsequently, the curriculum in Tharparkar does not even cover basic math and science education.

Partab Rai’s approach

Policy Reform

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.

More about Partab Rai

Twitter: @PartabShiwani
Organization's Facebook: Thar Education Alliance
Organization's Twitter: @TharEduAlliance

There are 11 other Education Champions working in Pakistan.