1. 2007 – Opening of a New Campus in Neelum Colony, Phase V, DHA

The biggest and most noteworthy of The Garage School achievements has to be the opening of a new campus in Neelum Colony in 2007. It is a 200 sq. yards, rented building in the heart of the area where all the students reside, this building was needed to accommodate the increasing number of students coming to the school for basic education.

2. 2008 – Introduction of Adult Literacy 

Adult Literacy program began in association with New Century Education in January 2008. The curriculum is designed for elderly who have surpassed the school going age. The 12 month duration of adult literacy program includes the following:

  • Four month Urdu course.
  • Followed by four months teaching of English, four months of mathematics.
  • Further option to complete Matriculation (local Grade 10 board exam) in a 4-years programme.

Within twelve months they learn to read and write basic English, Urdu and Math. Some women choose to continue with the two year course which takes them through primary level schooling and then, if they wish, in another two years they can sit for their Sindh Board exam.

Keeping in mind, the societal issues, TGS offers separate classes for men and women.

3. 2009 – Introduction of Skill Development Workshop

Skill development workshops were introduced in 2009 for the benefit of the older girls and boys of Neelum Colony who wanted to learn basic vocational skills. Carpentry and Sewing classes are held every day in the evening and these men and women are given certificates at the end of each course.

–  Carpentry Classes:

Besides formal schooling The Garage School has introduced mandatory carpentry classes. These classes are held from morning to evening so that all can learn carpentry skills – even those who go to other schools.

– Sewing and embroidery classes:

Noticing women’s interest in learning sewing and embroidery, Shabina hired a professional to conduct classes for them. These women can now stand on their own two feet and earn their livelihood.

Shabina dreams of adding more classes to the evening school. Future projects include beautician courses, cooking classes and budgeting classes.

4. 2010 – Financial empowerment 

Another achievement of The Garage School is the financial empowerment of its students. TGS introduced the TGS Bank in January 2010. Shabina promoted the habit of saving in children by encouraging them to set aside their meager pocket money in the “gullaqs” (piggy banks).

The piggy banks have now been converted into 32 personal accounts at Bank Al Habib under the Young Savers scheme. This has encouraged saving habits in the parents also. To start an account, all the youngsters need is Rs. 5 (US$ 0.06). As their deposits grow, for every Rs. 50 (US$ 0.6), Shabina will add Rs. 5 (US$ 0.06), and for every Rs. 100 (US$ 1.18), Rs. 10 (US$ 0.12). With this incentive, children are eager to save and the parents are happy that their youngsters have some money saved up in the banks for future use. “Once the children are educated, they will work towards their goals and also understand the value of money.” says Shabina.

5. 2011 – Expanding Our Horizon

The branch of The Garage School in Neelum Colony showed more potential than was expected and with in a year more children from the surrounding areas started coming in with the hope to get good education so they could turn around their future. This flocking lead to a space shortage and larger space was needed to accommodate the ever increasing number of students. During the course of next four years of moving in to the new building, the remaining two floors of the same building were rented out to TGS. The school now has two floors for formal schooling and adult literacy and the top floor is reserved for vocational training.

6. Medical achievements:

TGS has made possible several successful surgeries.

  • One appendicitis surgery at Ankle Saria Hospital in March 2002.
  • Two students were taken to Chennai, India for their open-heart surgery in May 2007.
  • Two open-heart surgeries done in Aga Khan Hospital, Karachi in November, 2009.
  • Three Throat surgeries for Tonsils at Ahmed General Hospital in October, 2010.
  • Two laser eye treatments at Aga Khan University Hospital by Dr. Azam in September 2001.
  • One Open Heart Surgery was done at Aga Khan University Hospital in September, 2011.
  • Four Ear operations at Ahmed General Hospital by Dr. Mushtaq Singapori.