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Story Publication logo January 23, 2014

School Portraits in Pakistan

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English

Taliban gunmen stopped a school bus rolling through Pakistan's mountainous northwest frontier and...

These portraits of Pakistani students in their classrooms show the country's future in the making — from decrepit rural schoolhouses with barely enough light for reading to sprawling campuses with top-notch computer labs and rather cosmopolitan extracurricular activities.I borrowed from the American tradition of school picture day — while making a few modifications — to show just how different learning environments can be.

These photographs offer a glimpse into the stark inequalities, which carry over into all sectors of life (including education), making it difficult to achieve social mobility through schooling.

What I found interesting is that all the students maintained a great sense of pride in their schools, even those who were the most impoverished. Pakistan is one of the youngest nations in the world, with more than a third of its people under the age of 14, which means the sort of educational opportunities currently in place will have a major impact in just a few decadesʼ time.

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