57% of NGO-run public schools fail PEF assessments

LAHORE:20 august: The Punjab government’s much touted outsourced NGO-run public schools, run under the Punjab Education Foundation (PEF), have shown poor results in their quality assessment. As many as 57% of the total schools failed the quality test conducted by the foundation, The Express Tribune has learnt. PEF conducts quality assurance tests (QAT) of its partner schools under various programmes. One of the programmes, the Punjab School Support Programme (PSSP), handed over low-performing public schools to nongovernmental organisations (NGOs). An NGO that facilitates paediatric surgery However, the latest results of the QAT phase-I programme show that out of the total 626 NGO-run schools of the province, only 271 were able to pass the assessment. At the same time, 341 schools failed and results of 16 of these institutes were late or not announced. The total pass percentage of the schools was recorded at 43%. In phase-I, the NGOs that took over public schools included National Rural Support Programme (NRSP), Akhuwat, CARE Foundation, The Citizens Foundation (TCF), Punjab Rural Support Programme (PRSP), Ghazali Education Trust, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA), Ghazali Society, Learning Zone, Developments in Literacy (DIL) and Muslim Hand. Among the different NGOs, Ghazali Education Trust had the best results with a 90% pass rate. It had been running 30 schools under phase-I and 27 passed the test. The worst result was shown by Muslim Hands, an NGO running 30 schools, out of which only four passed and it scored a percentage of 13%. Other results revealed that National Rural Support Programme (NRSP), with 100 schools, had a 60% pass rate, while Akhuwat, which runs as many institutions, had a 41% pass rate. CARE, also with 100 schools, scored 40% and TCF had a 36% pass rate from its total 80 schools. PRSP, with its 70 schools, managed to score 41%, while ITA’s 30 schools received a 53% pass score. Ghazali Society had a 24% pass rate from its total 45 schools. Learning Zone, with its 10 schools, managed to score 80%. DIL, with 31 schools, only managed to get a 19% pass rate. When contacted, PEF Spokesperson Aruj Salman defended the results. “When we got these schools, they had 0% scores in the Punjab Examination Commission (PEC) results. We then had a third party evaluation conducted to establish a baseline for these schools. It was found that they only had 9% pass rates. Now, the overall result of schools, under PEF, including the schools handed over to NGOs, have a total score of 56%. This is a huge improvement,” she asserted. The spokesperson said the schools which did not perform well in the assessment would be issued warnings. The PEF had been under fire from public school teachers after government educational institutions were handed over to NGOs. The teachers likened the move to privatisation of the education sector and a way of slowly ending the public school infrastructure in the province. The Punjab Teachers’ Union (PTU) had been especially vocal against the handover and held several protests against PEF.Published in The Express Tribune,

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