Established in 1982 as a response to the deteriorating standards of education by a group of concerned citizens and academics, the Society for the Advancement of Education (SAHE) was one of the first nonprofit organizations to focus on access to quality education in Pakistan.
Initially, SAHE sought to create greater awareness about different aspects of Pakistan’s development by inviting distinguished guest speakers and conducting short courses for college students. By 1990 SAHE increased its focus on school education and began to work with public schools to improve education quality by conducting teacher trainings to enhance their pedagogical skills. This SAHE Mohalla school program aimed to improve the conditions of public schools while also maintaining community ownership and involvement.
As SAHE’s work expanded it initiated the Campaign for Quality Education (CQE) in 2005, a network of individuals and organizations concerned with promotion of educational justice for all children. Through its work with CQE, SAHE aims to analyze the current education landscape and allow for equitable access to quality education across Pakistan. Over the past 30 years, SAHE’s role and activities have evolved from service delivery to an increasing emphasis on research-based advocacy, community outreach, as well as the provision of an alternate forum for learning and thinking about education reform.
SAHE believes in educational justice for all children in Pakistan and aims to ensure that children not only have the right to go to school but an equal right to quality education. In order to achieve this, it works to assess and review the shortcomings in the education system and conduct advocacy based research to develop solutions to our most pressing problems.
SAHE currently engages with numerous crucial actors across the policy spectrum. From bilateral and multilateral donor agencies such as OXFAM-NOVIB, Open Society Foundations (OSF), Department for International Development (DFID), World Bank, UNICEF, UNESCO, and the British Council to federal and provincial government agencies including Punjab Education Foundation (PEF), Directorate of Staff Development (DSD), Punjab Education Assessment System (PEAS) and the Education Department.
In its long-term collaborations with diverse donor agencies and government sector partners, SAHE’s performance has been outstanding in terms of meeting the goals and objectives of projects and assignments. Its most recent projects include an annual publication, Education Monitor, The Voice of Teachers; a study to learn more about the average Pakistani teacher, and Learning While You Teach; a study on the use of technology for continuous professional development of teachers in the public sector.
Over the years, with its focus on evidence-based advocacy, SAHE aims to ensure equitable access to quality education for all and continue to develop and advocate for effective and sustainable reform in the education sector of Pakistan.