Punjab Education Foundation

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PEF Departments

 

FAS FAQs

What is the FAS (Foundation Assisted Schools) Program?

PEF—FAS is the program of the Punjab Education Foundation working towards the aim of providing quality education through building public-private partnerships of the schools working in the private sector. The program finds strengthening the private schools and bring it at par with quality educative discourses that is much needed in the private sector.

Working under the directives of its governing Board of Directors, FAS Program provides financial assistance to schools through Public Private Partnership with an aim to improve access to education by the poor and marginalized sections of the society.

What are the achievements of FAS (Foundation Assisted Schools) Program?

Since its restructuring in 2005 with only 54 schools , the success of the program can be garnered from the fact that FAS currently caters to the needs of  1334 schools which accommodate around 600,000 students free of cost. 

FAS Program has recently launched its Phase VI with approximately 500 schools qualifying for FAS Partnership.

Working under the directives of its governing Board of Directors, FAS Program provides financial assistance to schools through Public Private Partnership with an aim to improve access to education by the poor and marginalized sections of the society.

Currently, the FAS  Cover the following Districts:

Bhawalpur, Multan, Muzaffergarh, Bhawalnagar, Lodhran, Jhanug, Rajanpur, Chakwal, Lahore, Sialkot, Bhakker, Mianwali, Narowal, Sheikhupura, Vehari, Nankana Sahib, Gujrat, Jhang,Chiniot.

10 new districts have now been included in Phase Six FAS Expansion are as follows:

Rahim yar Khan, Pakpattan, Okara, Sargodha, Attock, D.G Khan, Jehlum, Mandi Bahauddin, Layyah, Rawalpindi.

Currently, FAS is serving in 29 districts, and plans to cover all 36 Districts of Punjab in its subsequent phases.

To encourage and promote access to, and improve the quality of education. PEF has demonstrated that through Public Private Partnership, better quality education can be provided at much less cost as compared to the cost by the Government of Punjab to educate a child at the primary level in the public schooling system. The financial assistance on per child enrollment basis (PEF-FAS) is driven by considerations of equity and access to all.

What are the achievements of FAS (Foundation Assisted Schools) Program?

Schools invested heavily in infrastructure to accommodate more students
Schools are regularly monitored by FAS and Monitoring & Evaluation staff to ensure the availabilities of basic amenities, infrastructure and teaching aids.

What are the Selection Criteria of an Institution?

For consideration of accepting new school in its upcoming phases, the FAS Department advertises for application calls in the concerned districts in the local newspaper dailies.  Once the applications have been received, the following criteria is kept under consideration before cumulative points could be given in a school’s recommendation for  selection.

Enrollment:

Minimum                                            100                                            

Preliminary QAT(weight age)

QAT                                                    50%

Physical Inspection(weight age)

Location  (rural, slum, urban)            15%
Faculty                                              10%
Infrastructure                                    25%

The minimum enrolment for the applicant school is 100 students, Once the application for partnership has been received, then the preliminary QAT (a skill-based test in English, Urdu and Mathematics) is conducted to ascertain the school performance.  Once the school has qualified in the QAT with minimum passing marks of 66.67% , the school is then rigorously  inspected by the PEF team in terms of building, classrooms, library (in case of elementary and secondary schools) and laboratories in case of secondary schools; hygiene, congeniality  and conducive environment.

After the school has been short listed / recommended for selection, the authenticity   of the documents relevant to school and school owners are ascertained before they can be entered into partnership with FAS.

What is the Quality Assurance Test (QAT)?

QAT is the chief determinant for continuing financial assistance to an educational institution and it is  conducted bi-annually by selecting any 2 or 3 classes in a school.  QAT is prepared by PEF Academic Development Unit according to the syllabus agreed upon between PEF and partner schools and normally it is of one hour duration. The recipient educational institution will have to ensure an overall average score of 75%  to qualify for continuing financial assistance under PEF—FAS.(Current criteria)  In  case that an educational institution fails to meet the minimum benchmark mentioned above, the financial assistance will be discontinued forthwith in the event of Consecutively twice failure in two QATs.

What if the school is Un-Registered?

An unregistered school may apply for partnership.  However the partner school shall register itself with the District Registration Authority within six months (subjected to change as perceived by PEF) after entering into partnership with the Punjab Education Foundation and in default thereof the PEF may discontinue financial assistance under this partnership agreement.

How is a school identified as a PEF-FAS partner School?

The partner school will display the board on its main gate or any other prominent place.  The specimen of the board will be provided by PEF stating the provision of free education to children enrolled in the educational institution being supported under the PEF-FAS Program.

When does the payment begin?

The payment to the school is dispatched as soon as the agreement has been signed.  The payments are made by the 1st week of every month through automatic transfers.  Payments for the first month of partnership will be made according to the figures obtained and verified by inspection teams during the selection process. Any increments/increase will be awarded after verification of enrollment after inspection by PEF.

What is the payment process?

Before the process can take place the school must ensure the following before opening their bank accounts:

  • Bank account should be opened only in the name of the School/institution (personal accounts are not acceptable).
  • Bank account in any branch of the Bank Of Punjab to avail  the quick online transfer system (bank accounts in any other bank and any other district are not acceptable).

Once the school has entered into partnership, it is required  to provide the FAS department the monthly student updates every month, based on which the payment for the student enrolment is released.   The school must abide by the certain rules in order for the payments to be dispatched:

  • Provision of accurate enrollment figures within the due date (5th of each month) on the specified monthly update form.
  • During summer vacations, no increments in enrolment will be entertained until the end of the summer vacations and payments during vacation months will be made on the basis of the enrolment submitted during the last active month before the vacations (this applies to all schools irrespective of summer camps, school trips or any other consideration).
  • Payments for the first month of partnership will be made according to the figures obtained and verified by inspection teams during the selection process. Any increments/increase will be awarded after verification of enrollment by PEF.
  • There will be no arrears paid to the school under any circumstances.(Subjected upon discretion of PEF)
  • Schools may be capped at certain enrolment levels on the basis of their infrastructure upon inspection. In such a case payments will not increase from the stipulated number irrespective of the actual enrolment of the school until the school has made necessary improvements to the infrastructure.  It must be noted here that any enrollment in excess of  the capacity allotted will not be considered for payment.   FAS strongly discourages overcrowding in schools as it hampers with quality of education.
  • Schools capped due to poor performance in QAT will remain capped until they improve their performance in the next QAT.

Can the partner school charge any fee from the students within the premises of the school?

No.  From the date of execution of the agreement of partnership the partner school shall not charge any enrolled student any fee in whatsoever form, including, but not restricted to, fines, recreation, stationery, class/tours, admission charges, registration fees, etc. Notified examination fees by the concerned Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education may, however, be collected from the students against a token of receipt, with the prior approval of the Punjab Education Foundation.

In case school charge any fee/fund etc. The collective amount that school extort  from students will be reimbursed to the students and pamphlets will be circulated about violation for information of students/parents.

Is the partner school allowed to carry out after-hours/second-time classes/tuition within its premises?

The partner school will not conduct any after-hours/second-time classes within its premises unless and until the service is being extended to the students free of cost. The partner school will not conduct tuition academies or any other profit making venture within the premises of the institution declared as under the partnership agreement.

What should be the teacher/student ratio?

The teacher student ratio should not exceed 35 students per teacher and no single room may host more than one class at one time. Practice of conducting  classes in verandas and passages among rooms are strictly denounced.

What is the enrollment limit of a partner school and what is the procedure for the approval of students accessing highest enrollment limit?

The minimum strength of enrolment should not be less than 100 students and the maximum number of the students should not be more than 500 or 750, depending on the capacity of the school,. The school must ensure the provision of proper physical infrastructure and all relevant facilities for additional students, the availability of which will be inspected and approved by a representative of the PEF, before the second party can enroll more students.

What if school performance in QAT is outstanding?

In case of outstanding performance by the partner school in providing quality education, determined on the basis of student learning outcomes assessed through six monthly Quality Assurance Tests (QAT), administered under the auspices of Punjab Education Foundation, the Board of Directors of the Punjab Education Foundation may give awards to the Partner School and/or its staff. The rules and the criteria for award of such incentives shall be determined by the Board of Directors of the Punjab Education Foundation. All such rewards will be on the basis of the cumulative results of at least two quality assurance tests.

What if the school fails  in QAT?

Being the yardstick to measure the educational quality of the school, a failure in QAT exam may affect the payment by reducing the cap to its previous status as was observed by the PEF Monitoring team  before the test. 

In case of twice consecutive failure, the partnership with FAS Department will stand cancelled by default.

What can result in penalties /cancellation of agreement?

Charging Fees and/or allied charges from the students

It is clearly stated in the partnership agreement that an FAS partner school can not charge any money from the students under any circumstances. PEF has a zero-tolerance policy in this regard and will impose severe penalties upon a school in order to continue the partnership.

Inaccurate/false enrolment figures

It is strongly suggested that school administration take particular care and diligence in preparing the monthly enrolment update since negligence or ignorance will also result in the imposition of the above mentioned penalties.   It must be noted with great caution that the school is not allowed  to enroll more students until endorsed by PEF Monitoring & Evaluation wing. 

Serious violation or misdemeanor may result in instant cancellation.

Late submission of monthly update

The monthly update from FAS partner schools is due at the PEF secretariat before the 5th of each month.  Payments for schools that fail to submit the monthly update on time will be made on the basis of the previous update.  In case of not submission of update for consecutive two months will be liable to 2% penalty for one month.

Overcrowding

In order to obtain the quality outcomes PEF expects from its partner institutions, it is imperative that the partner school pays    special attention to the school’s infrastructure.  Since the provision of free quality education is bound to attract a large number of students throughout the year it is of vital importance that schools continuously expand their physical capacity in order to ensure the provision of a quality environment to all students at all times.  Schools that are found to be overcrowded at any time after entering into FAS partnership will suffer the penalties.

How is the performance of the school checked?

The qualitative performance of the school can be ascertained from their QAT results.   The physical performance of the school is inspected by the PEF Monitoring Team which visits schools at regular intervals during an academic year.   The following are some of the standards that the team checks for in the school during their visit:

  • Student enrolment and their verification from admission register
  • School Infrastructure
  • Furniture
  • Cleanliness and Hygiene
  • Availability of rooms for each class

How long will the FAS program support a partner school?

Support to a partner school under PEF-FAS is entirely performance based. As long as a school continues to perform as per PEF criteria and expectations, the financial support will continue. A school may choose to cancel the partnership agreement at its discretion if it so desires.