Pak mom goes to school with her two sons

Rukhsana Batool, a resident of New Pakki Shah Mardan, a small village in Mianwali district, has been allowed to join classes in a government-run primary school where her sons Haseem Raza and Minahil Raza, students of Class I, are her school mates.

Teachers at the school said she was admitted to Class I after clearing the nursery curriculum in two months.

Over the past few days, Batool's quest for education has been featured by several TV news channels, with footage showing the burqa-clad woman sitting in a classroom surrounded by children.

"I had a great desire to get educated. So I took admission along with my children," Batool told reporters.

"My parents were very poor and could not educate me. My husband accepted my desire to get educated and I joined the school," she said.

Batool, who was born into a family that could barely make ends meet, was married off at the age of 18 to a motorcycle mechanic.

But the desire to go to school did not die.
When she admitted her two sons to school, she persuaded their teacher Murid Fiza to let her join classes.

The teacher allowed her to sit in on the classes informally.
Other teachers said they were impressed by Batool's punctuality and desire to learn.
Batool can now read and write just like her classmates.

She wants to continue with her studies and has a desire to appear as a private candidate at the board examination.

She also wants to be a role model for women who were denied access to education.
She said that by accepting the challenge of studying at her age, she wanted to tell all women like her to seek education to avoid gender discrimination.

Sabir Abbas Shah, Batool's husband, has done his bit by hiring a maid to do the chores at home.

Batool's teacher has a good word for her too. She said she was happy that Batool is attending classes regularly and doing all her homework.

Other children in Batool's class described her as a "good class fellow", saying she always plays and studies along with them!

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