Progressive Education Network (PEN) is a non-profit company registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan under Section 42 of the Companies Ordinance 1984.
Companies which are registered under Section 42 have to comply with strict regulations of audit, reporting and governance under the supervision of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan.
PEN is certified by the Pakistan Center for Philanthropy and ISO 9001 for compliance with best practices in internal governance, financial management and program delivery.
PEN adopts under-performing public schools through a public-private partnership with the District Governments for a period of ten years and implements reforms to upgrade the schools’ academics and infrastructure.
How do you ensure that your system is being implemented as planned across the country?Usman Haider2022-04-05T08:36:11+05:00
PEN has rigorous a monitoring and evaluation mechanism. Every day, PEN’s monitoring teams in each city/cluster visit our adopted schools to monitor teacher and student attendance, classroom observation, co-curricular activities, school facilities, etc.
In addition, there’s a third party evaluation of our adopted schools conducted on an annual basis.
Pakistan Center for Philanthropy also conducts an audit of PEN’s internal governance, financial management and program delivery.
Who bears the expenses of the Head Office, i.e. staff?Usman Haider2022-04-05T08:35:51+05:00
Ultimately, the success of our interventions is measured through the following indicators:
1. Student enrollment
2. Student retention rate
3. Student-teacher ratio
4. Student assessment through internal and external examinations
5. Teacher training hours
6. Teacher attendance
7. Teachers’ pedagogical skills measured through daily monitoring
8. Student participation in co-curricular activities
9. 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.
Does PEN also work on developing the students’ character and leadership skills?Usman Haider2022-04-05T08:35:01+05:00
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:
1. Health and hygiene training
2. Sports competitions
4. Creative writing
5. Naat and Qirat competitions
6. Field trips to science museum and universities
7. Mentoring program
Does PEN work only in some geographical areas?Usman Haider2022-04-05T08:34:40+05:00
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).
How does PEN improve the infrastructure of its adopted public schools?Usman Haider2022-04-05T08:34:16+05:00
We carry out the following infrastructure improvements in public schools to create an environment that is conducive to learning for our children:
1. New construction or renovation of classrooms & toilets
2. Electric water coolers with a 2-stage filter
3. Student & teacher furniture
4. Electric fixtures, e.g. fans, energy savers, etc.
5. Paint work
6. Minor repair and maintenance (e.g. windows, doors, water tanks, etc.)
8. Kids’ room (Early Childhood Education Centers) with a computer
9. Appointment of a maid in primary schools to clean school premises twice a day
How does PEN improve academic standards in public schools?Usman Haider2022-04-05T08:33:46+05:00
Our intervention in under-served public schools focuses on improvement of education delivery. We demonstrate characteristic expertise in the following areas:
2. Enrolment of out-of-school children
3. Early childhood education
4. Teaching aids
5. Computer education
6. Development of academic resources
We carry out the following standardized interventions in each adopted school:
1. Training of public school teachers.
2. Head Teacher Training in school management, budgeting and finance.
3. Addition of Teachers to reduce class size and enable individual attention to students.
4. Provision of academic resources
5. Provision of teaching kits containing essential learning tools for students and teachers, and school supplies.
6. Aggressive campaign to increase student enrollment through door-to-door visits, advertising, parent-teacher meetings, etc.
7. Establish computer and I.T. labs in middle and high schools
8. Continuous monitoring and evaluation carried out by our academic staff on every school day.
Why does PEN work with public schools?Usman Haider2022-03-24T10:19:18+05:00
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 2014, 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.
Do all the expenses on travelling, fundraising dinners, propagation of PEN, come from donations?Usman Haider2022-03-24T10:16:01+05:00
We organize an annual fundraising dinner which is paid for by a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. Traveling expenses for operations of schools do come from donations. All other travel expenses are not paid for by PEN.
We are certified under ISO 9001 for implementing a quality management system and by the Pakistan Center for Philanthropy for compliance with best practices in internal governance, financial management and program delivery.
Who are the people behind PEN?Usman Haider2022-03-24T10:13:16+05:00