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Hilal English

Educational Empowerment: FC Balochistan (North) Initiates Literacy Program for Soldiers

January 2024

Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan (North) has launched the Soldiers Families Literacy Program (SFLP), a five-month initiative for the illiterate wives and daughters of personnel aged 13 to 45. Modeled after Pehla Qadam, the program is uniquely tailored for diverse backgrounds within FC Balochistan (North).



"Give me an educated mother, I shall promise you the birth of a civilized, educated nation.”
–Napoleon Bonaparte


Undoubtedly, the adage asserting that education stands as the most potent instrument for transforming the world holds true. Literacy, being a priceless endowment, remains unparalleled in its significance. It is universally recognized that mothers equipped with education play a crucial role in nurturing a generation that can strengthen a nation's foundations and propel it to unparalleled heights.
Educated mothers play a pivotal role in fostering their children's academic success through the demonstration of positive behaviors and the establishment of valuable social connections conducive to educational achievement. A mother's own educational background not only enhances the prospects of her children but also positively influences the dynamics of the parent-child relationship. Conversely, mothers lacking literacy or formal education may find themselves confined to a narrow knowledge domain, hindering their ability to envision ambitious goals for themselves or their children.
In order to contribute its share in nation building, Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan (North) has devised a five-month literacy initiative known as the Soldiers Families Literacy Program (SFLP). This program is modeled after the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) Pakistan's general public literacy initiative, Pehla Qadam (First Step), which has been effectively implemented nationwide since 2005. The NCHD program has achieved notable success, having educated approximately 2.7 million previously illiterate individuals, thereby contributing significantly to the improvement of Pakistan's overall literacy rate.


SFLP stands out as distinctive and diverges from Pehla Qadam in that it is exclusively tailored for female teachers and learners who originate from diverse backgrounds nationwide. This contrasts with NCHD's program, which is typically conducted in specific localities where both learners and teachers share a common background, culture, and norms. 


SFLP is specifically crafted for the benefit of illiterate wives and daughters, aged between 13 to 45 years, of Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan (North) personnel. The program's objective is to equip them with fundamental literacy skills, including reading, writing, and basic calculations up to three digits. While adopting the successful approach of Pehla Qadam, the program has been customized to align with the unique dynamics of the Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan (North) context and the diverse backgrounds of its learners. The Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan (North) comprises personnel from various regions across the country, encompassing different languages, cultures, and backgrounds. Notably, the families of the soldiers often originate from rustic and conservative environments, presenting a considerable challenge in motivating them to convene under one roof for collective learning sessions.
SFLP stands out as distinctive and diverges from Pehla Qadam in that it is exclusively tailored for female teachers and learners who originate from diverse backgrounds nationwide. This contrasts with NCHD's program, which is typically conducted in specific localities where both learners and teachers share a common background, culture, and norms. The content of the program has been adopted from NCHD's program, but the mode of delivery is devised to align with the educational objectives of Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan (North).


Following the successful completion of the pilot, the program has been extended to soldiers' families in all under-command setups of Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan (North) in Loralai, Nushki, Sibi, and Sui.


Key features of the program comprise:
▪  Exclusively designed for females, in contrast to Pehla Qadam, which is inclusive of all genders.
▪  Integration of Lady FC soldiers, fostering in-house human resources for sustained program continuity.
▪  Utilization of Urdu as the medium of instruction, employing the Direct Method of Teaching.
▪  Incorporation of modern audio/visual aids like multimedia and flashcards to augment learning and comprehension.
▪  Provision of a kinder care facility to assist mothers attending the classes.
The pilot stage of the program took place from May 23, 2023, to October 1, 2023, targeting families of soldiers residing in Quetta. A total of 25 participants attended and successfully qualified after assessment and evaluation. At the culmination of the pilot stage, Begum IGFC Balochistan (North) awarded certificates and distributed prizes during a specially organized graduation ceremony. Following the successful completion of the pilot, the program has been extended to soldiers' families in all under-command setups of Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan (North) in Loralai, Nushki, Sibi, and Sui. Currently, 75 learners are enrolled in this phase, scheduled to conclude in February 2023, with the education impartation process continuing thereafter.