The past few days students of the centers gave interviews about how their education. The interviews were based on these questions.
- How has their life changed after attending the centers?
- Has their future plan changed due to the education they are receiving?
- What things they like about the center?
- Did you feel any difference between the regular school and democratic education centers?
- Is there something they would like to improve at the center?
The students were eager yet shy to give these interviews. Majority of them had similar opinions regarding most of the questions. Most students said that these computer centers have greatly influenced and changed their life. They told how they had never been in touch with the computers before but they now not only knew how to operate them but also do various activities on the computers. They told how they wanted to get education and go schools but were not able to. But these centers have not only made them grow in educational way but also being able to interact with educated people socially. Moreover they talked about how they learn professional education according to what field of interest they have.
About the future plans students were very ambitious. All the students had almost different plans about what they wanted to be in the future. A few of them even mentioned that before the centers opened all they knew was that they are going to be working with their parents but now they aspire to be better than what they parents are. Students wanted to doctors, nurses, vehicle mechanics, tailors, fashion designers, makeup artists, teachers, computer software experts etc.
What they like about the center? The main points the students emphasized upon were the education being free and being given in the evening time. As almost all of the students belong to rather poor families or lower working class. So they either could not afford education of schools or instead the children did not have time to go to school as all the schools are in the morning and the children had to help their parents at work in the morning. Another point that they mentioned was the education being comfy and without pressure. This point is discussed in the next question in detail.
Some of the students who once at some point went to school felt the immense difference between the normal school education and the democratic education. They told how they have seen and even heard that in schools teacher give you time limits and assignments and they make you study subjects that are not even of your interest but instead in the democratic centers you learn whatever you want to be in your professional life and that they don’t get pressurized to do stuff. Other than that in Pakistan the main idea is that recreational or sports activities is a waste of time and you have to devout your whole time towards academics. The students were delighted that they had different games to play and they were able to play online games which they had never thought of playing in past.
Lastly, although students were happy enough for what they had but they still gave their opinions on how the centers could be improved. For example, some of them wanted bigger screen to play xbox and more xbox games, many students wanted to play musical instruments to learn music, the children wanted more outdoor games equipment and a playground where they can play football and cricket. The older students wanted workshops where they have the facilities to practice their professional skills.
The interviews went really great. It showed how children felt and how they would like things in near future.