Frequently Asked Questions
Public schools cater to the low-income strata of our society yet lag far behind private schools in terms of academics and basic facilities.
According to the Leaps Report and the Annual Status of Education Report 2013, students of Class III in public schools lag behind their private-school counterparts by 1.5 to 2.5 years in basic arithmetic and reading skills. As our curriculum is based on “learning to read” by Class III and “reading to learn” thereafter, most students do not recover from this gap and as a result drop-out of school. According to a World Bank study, 50 percent of the students drop-out before Class V.
Hence, PEN works with public schools and focuses on primary-level as it has the highest rate of return on investment. Children with strong reading and arithmetic skills at primary-level are more likely to stay in school and more likely to finish matriculation.
Our intervention in under-served public schools focuses on improvement of education delivery. We demonstrate characteristic expertise in the following areas:
- Enrollment of out-of-school children
- Early childhood education
- Teaching aids
- Computer education
- Development of academic resources
We carry out the following standardized interventions in each adopted school:
- Training of public school teachers.
- Head Teacher Training in school management, budgeting and finance.
- Addition of Teachers’ to reduce class size and enable individual attention to students.
- Provision of academic resources
- Provision of teaching kits containing essential learning tools for students and teachers, and school supplies.
- Aggressive campaign to increase student enrollment through door-to-door visits, advertising, parent-teacher meetings, etc.
- Establish computer and I.T. labs in middle and high schools
- Continuous monitoring and evaluation carried out by our academic staff on every school day.
Presently, PEN is providing quality education to 21,100 students through its adopted 80 public schools in the following areas:
- Thatta, and
We carry out the following infrastructure improvements in public schools to create an environment that is conducive to learning for our children:
- New construction or renovation of classrooms & toilets
- Electric water coolers with a 2-stage filter
- Student & teacher furniture
- Electric fixtures, e.g. fans, energy savers, etc.
- Paint work
- Minor repair and maintenance (e.g. windows, doors, water tanks, etc.)
- Kids’ room (Early Childhood Education Centers) with a computer
- Appointment of a maid in primary schools to clean school premises twice a day.
We carry out the following infrastructure improvements in public schools to create an
Co-curricular activities are a major part of our intervention. We organize student committees in each school so the following activities can be held on a regular basis and become part of the curriculum:
- Health and hygiene training
- Sports competitions
- Creative writing
- Naat and Qirat competitions
- Field trips to science museum and universities
- Mentoring program
No. We’re a nationwide effort. PEN started with adoption of schools in Lahore and Karachi as our Board of Directors are based in these two cities. These schools in Lahore and Karachi are funded by the Board of Directors as proof-of-concept (demonstrating how PEN interventions have transformed public schools).
We plan to expand to the following areas by the end of 2015:
- Rajanpur, and
Typically, the companies sponsor public schools that are either located close to their plants or offices, and we welcome their feedback on our interventions.
Ultimately, the success of our interventions is measured through the following indicators:
- Student enrollment
- Student retention rate
- Student-teacher ratio
- Student assessment through internal and external examinations
- Teacher training hours
- Teacher attendance
- Teachers’ pedagogical skills measured through daily monitoring
- Student participation in co-curricular activities
- Provision of basic facilities
We provide each donor a quarterly report with detailed analysis on the above-mentioned indicators. One of our core values is Radical Transparency which keeps us accountable to all our stakeholders and we share all information with our stakeholders.
Presently, PEN is operating a cluster of schools for each of the following corporations:
- Servis Industries in Gujrat
- National Group of Companies in Sheikhupura
- HubCo Power in Narowal
- Orient Power Company in District Muzzafargarh
- Al-Fatah Cluster
We are also close working with half-a-dozen well-known companies to establish a cluster of schools under the Good Neighbor Program and it will be finalized soon.
When PEN partners with a company it adopts public schools through an agreement with the District Government for a period of 10 years. We understand the limitations of certain companies to give such a long term commitment in advance. Hence, we request that companies enter into a donor agreement with PEN for a renewable period of at least 3 years.
The cost of upgrading public schools varies depending on the capital overlay and the initial need analysis conducted by PEN. Typically, the initial donation covers the cost of providing basic facilities in each school and the operating cost is disbursed by the donor on a monthly-basis to pay salaries of teachers, maids, monitoring, student assessment, free student notebooks, etc.
The operating cost for a Cluster of 5 schools ranges from Rs. 150,000 to Rs. 200,000 per month.
Great question. The following are some of the milestones we have achieved in the last three years:
- Over 21,100 studentsenrolled in PEN adopted schools in Karachi, Thatta, Lahore, Sheikhupura, Gujrat and Muzzafargarh.
- 34 %increase in student enrollment since 2010.
- 13%improvement in academic results on year to year basis in our schools (classes 5 & 8 as per Punjab Education Commission Examination Result).
- Provision of basic amenities in all schools, including clean and cold drinking water, toilets, properly-lit and ventilated classrooms, etc.
- Co-curricular activities are now regularly held in all schools, including quiz and declamation contests, and sports activities.
- Established 6 computer labs in Middle and High Schools.
- Established Early Childhood Education and Development Centers in each schoolor Kids’ rooms so students can get a head-start in computer education.
The 100% Model
We guarantee that 100% of your donation will be used to fund the up gradation of public schools and local monitoring staff members. Our administrative costs are covered from the donations of our Board of Directors.
All donations under the Good Neighbor Program are maintained through separate ledgers and books, and made available to the donor as and when demanded.
When a company expresses interest to work with PEN under the Good Neighbor Program, our academic and administration teams conduct a need-analysis of public schools in their area. Then, we give a detailed presentation on the condition of the schools and the cost associated with their rehabilitation and upgrade. After the donor’s commitment, PEN finalizes a school adoption agreement with the District Government and begins to implement its reforms.
The whole process takes about 4 to 6 weeks.