Beyond Books: Developments in Literacy Advances Education for Underserved Children in Pakistan

Young girls excitedly raise their hands to answer a question while learning in schools supported by DIL

In honor of the UN’s International Day of Education, we are highlighting the great work of Developments in Literacy, an organization giving underserved children across Pakistan a life-changing education so they can master the skills they need to build a better world.

In Pakistan, out-of-school children are often caught in a cycle of poverty and therefore more susceptible to exploitation. Many of them already face significant challenges, living in underserved areas with limited access to basic resources that impede their overall development. The country’s educational landscape is characterized by striking statistics: a mere 14% of students progress to high school, over 60% of women are illiterate, and less than half of all girls are enrolled in school.

For the past twenty-five years, Developments in Literacy (DIL) has delivered affordable and high-quality education to numerous underserved children in Pakistan. DIL recognizes that education is a transformative force that is crucial for breaking the cycle of poverty, uplifting not only children (especially young girls), but also entire families. The organization currently supports over 59,000 students across 168 schools, fostering positive societal change for communities across the nation. The impact of their work is evident in the diverse career paths chosen by their alumni, who now contribute to fields such as medicine, engineering, and public service, actively shaping the future of the country.

In the chart on the right, you’ll find information about grants CAF America has supported in Pakistan with a focus on advancing educational initiatives.

Chart of grants to DIL facilitated by CAF America

Looking to the Future: Technology Enabled Academic Learning (TEAL)

DIL’s latest innovation and unique program, Technology Enabled Academic Learning (TEAL), uses video to support core subject instruction in the classroom. TEAL aims to empower students to learn through a mix of video, student-centered activities, and assessments, reshaping teaching and learning dynamics across participating schools. It shifts the teacher’s role from direct instruction to guiding progress and transforms students from passive to active learners. The process involves introducing lesson objectives, assessing prior knowledge, video lessons on individual tablets, creative application through activities, quick formative assessments, and simplified assessment reports guiding teachers in ensuring effective learning for every student.

Currently, the program has been piloted with 407 Grade Six students to great success, and is presently being rolled out for Grade Seven and Eight students. Students have benefitted from TEAL when schools were closed from damage from natural disasters for weeks and months at the time. Students who suffer loss and aren’t emotionally oriented to do work in the aftermath also strongly benefit from TEAL, as it allows them to work at their own pace. TEAL invests in DIL’s schools and the wider Pakistani education system, overcoming uncontrollable obstacles to create new possibilities and opportunities for their students. By helping children learn essential academic and life skills through unique in person and online formats, organizations like DIL have touched the lives of thousands of young people throughout Pakistan.

Image: Courtesy of Developments in Literacy

CAF America is proud to work with grantee partners like Developments in Literacy who are making a measurable difference in the communities they serve. They’re just one of many currently eligible organizations in our Global Charity Database that is doing inspiring work. You can find organizations in our database here.

About the Author

  • Margot Cunningham

    Margot Cunningham serves as CAF America’s Officer of Marketing and Communications. Her responsibilities include planning, creating, and implementing marketing and communications strategies, with a focus on building awareness of our mission and engaging prospects and donors with long-form content and event opportunities.

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