Commonwealth Point of Light 54. Ayub Khan
Ayub Khan, representing Pakistan, is a fireman who runs an open-air school for children who would not otherwise be able to afford an education.
He first started teaching a group of four children in an Islamabad public park over thirty years ago. The school roll has since grown to over 200 students, with lessons running free of charge from noon to sunset. Children are taught a range of subjects including Urdu, English and Maths and thousands of children have taken government accredited exams allowing them to go on to higher education, or secure higher-paid jobs. Ayub has now mobilised a team of volunteers to further support his teaching programmes and to help fundraise for a permanent school-building.
The award was presented today by the Acting UK High Commissioner, Richard Crowder.
Watch Ayub’s response to receiving this award from Her Majesty The Queen and his work to improve education for schoolchildren in Islamabad:
The Acting High Commissioner, on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, awarded Pakistan’s Master Ayub with a ‘Point of Light’ in recognition of his exceptional services to education pic.twitter.com/dFy4OaQ4wg
— UK in Pakistan 🇬🇧🇵🇰 (@ukinpakistan) May 30, 2018
“I am extremely honoured and thankful to The Her Majesty Queen for this prestigious award. This is a moment of utmost happiness for me and these children who sit on the ground and study. Knowledge is power and I wish I have several such schools all over Pakistan, where I can teach kids free of cost. This school is for every Pakistani whether he is a Muslim, Hindu, Christian or from any other religion, caste or creed.”
Richard Crowder, Acting UK High Commissioner to Pakistan said:
“I am delighted to present Ayub Khan with the 54th Commonwealth Point of Light award for his exceptional voluntary service that has allowed so many children to receive a quality education.
“Her Majesty The Queen has recognised Mr Khan as Pakistan’s Point of Light for delivering a significant impact on the lives of others. His schools have had a tremendous approach in educating the next generation which is so vital for unlocking Pakistan’s full potential.”
Pictured below: Ayub Khan, or ‘Master Ayub’ as he is affectionately known by his students, teaching at his open-air school, and students at their studies