Bajaur Agency is one of the six agencies of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Geographically, Bajaur agency is located in the north west of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province of Pakistan, lying alongside the Durand Line bordering Kunar Province of Afghanistan. FATA is the most backward region of Pakistan lacking in modern education, health facilities and other civil amenities. The shockingly dismal picture of FATA can be drawn from the appalling literacy rate of FATA which is meager 3% for women and 17% for men compared to national literacy rate of 53 %. In FATA 50% of girls and 58% of boys of school going age are out of school. The fifth grade literacy rate in Bajaur agency is as low as 2%. The reasons for these flabbergasting and abhorring figures are manifold. For instance, schools are located far flung, so accessibility to schools is an issue. Similarly the quality of education is under question due to the teaching staff in schools who are not properly trained and do not know the standard teaching methodologies and majority of them are scantly present. The acute poverty of the tribesmen also abstain them to enroll their kids in school and they are compelled to send their children in the labour market to earn livelihood and contribute household income. Because of the traditional and cultural ethos and values, girls education is still considered a taboo.
In the light of the fore mentioned issues pertaining to educating girls and boys in FATA, BEST with the collaboration of National Education Foundation (NEF) initiated “Basic Education Community Schools (BECS)” project in Bajaur Agency to sensitize and create awareness among the tribesmen through community mobilization and interactive sessions regarding the importance of both boys and girls education and the valuable impact that literacy will have on the overall society. The project was aimed at to enroll the out of school children in the community schools established by BEST.