Punjab Education Foundation

The Official web site of Punjab Education Foundation

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PEF Departments

 

Education Voucher Scheme (PEF-EVS)

Introduction

Punjab Education Foundation since its restructuring in 2004 has been struggling to promote quality education through Public Private Partnerships. Education Voucher Scheme launched in 2006 with an aim to benefit children belonging to less affluent and underprivileged areas, who otherwise cannot get education due to financial and social constraints. This scheme has got tremendous response due to its beneficial effect on poor segments of the society. Education Voucher Scheme employs innovative techniques to increase enrollment and enhance quality of education. Main features of its initiatives are;

  • Low Cost Education:
    • Average cost of Rs. 350 per student, much lower than traditional programs (approx. 1/3rd as compare to Govt.)
    • No upfront cost of setting up new schools (e.g., infrastructure)
  • Superior targeting
    • Mechanisms to ensure that subsidies are extended to the most deserving (e.g., out of school and high risk) children of deserving/ slums/underprivileged areas
  • Better quality outcomes
    • Better quality outcomes maintained and demonstrated by regular testing for students (through bi-annual Quality Assurance Tests)
  • Monitoring and evaluation
    • Internal and external audits of PEF to ensure transparency
    • Internal M&E Mechanism for periodic evaluations
    • External M&E Mechanism for an independent check on program and policies implementation
  • Practical application
    • Add-on programs to provide vocational training that help in providing employment opportunities through skill development

With a view to promote affordable quality education for the less privileged and disenfranchised segments of society, the Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) has planned to further expand its EVS program in all districts of the province wherein currently it is operational in 17 districts of the Punjab.

The voucher is redeemable against payment of fee in the private educational institutions in partnership with PEF under EVS program. EVS enables the children of age 4-17 years from poorest families to get free education in their nearest (PEF EVS) private schools of their own choice.  It is worth mentioning that all steps right from the selection of area for launching the scheme to voucher distribution and from selection of partner schools to quality assurance in the partner schools are systematically well organized.

Selection Process/Strategy

Selection of area is the most significant segment of voucher scheme wherein household surveys are conducted to identify the number of children available in specific geographic boundaries as per voucher eligibility criteria. During analysis most deserving eligible children are identified and registered for voucher scheme. Children are registered on the basis of criteria given below;

  • Out of school children
    • Drop out
    • Never went to school
  • Orphans
  • Children of widows
  • Children of single parent
  • Deserving who can not afford

Simultaneously, school selection process is initiated by inviting expressions of interest from schools of selected areas through advertisement. Previously, preliminary quality assurance test of the shortlisted schools was conducted to assess quality standards through students’ learning outcomes assessments. The schools who qualify the quality assurance test were inspected for assessment of infrastructure and educational environment and agreements were signed with the schools recommended for partnership after physical inspection reports. Recently, criteria have been revised wherein preliminary quality assurance test is exempted for selection purpose.

Continuity of partnership is dependent on results of quality assurance tests as per required percentages. In case of two consecutive failures in QAT, the partnership discontinues. EVS Partnership Agreement.

Expected Outcomes

  1. Decrease in Out Of School Children
  2. Increase in Primary Completion Rate
  3. Access to school in vicinity
  4. Competitive environment among private institutions to retain maximum students/ enhanced retention
  5. Competition to improve quality of education
  6. Increase in Enrollment at Primary Level partner schools
  7. Increase in Female Enrolment
  8. Better Employment Opportunity if linked with Skill Development Program
  9. Women Empowerment: Increase in Employment opportunity for Female Teachers
  10. Improvement in Students Learning Outcomes

M & E Mechanism

  1. School Visits: Students Enrolment, Attendance, Absenteeism, Retention, Promotion
  2. Katchi Abadies/Underprivileged areas’ Visits: Parents’ Feedback, drop out or after completion of studies
  3. QAT Conduction: to assess Improvement in Students’ Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  4. Household Survey for identification of targeted group
  5. Voucher Issuance for a period of 4 months, however monitoring is in a continuum
  6. Beneficiaries follow-ups to track record of attendance, analyze absenteeism, retention and promotion
  7. Beneficiaries follow-ups to track record in case of drop out either after completion of studies or during studies