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Foundation Assisted Schools (PEF-FAS)
Education up to secondary level in public sector is free now and the students in government schools are provided free textbooks. But still low income households prefer to send their children to private schools, which have come to be identified with a measure of quality education. In urban areas where the social demand for education is strong, private educational institutions thrive.
The Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) has been restructured as an autonomous organization by an act of parliament in 2004 to support the efforts of the private sector in providing quality education to poor segment of the society. The PEF has been assigned the statutory responsibility to promote education through private educational institutions by establishing and nurturing Public Private Partnership.
- Program Features
PEF—FAS is the flagship program of the Punjab Education Foundation to encourage and promote the 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 in the public schooling system. The target schools under PEF-FAS are financed up to a maximum of Rs.350 per month for Elementary Classes and Rs.400 for Secondary Classes as tuition fees and related/allied charges.
- The financial assistance to the recipient schools is linked with the satisfactory performance of the schools in QAT. Financial assistance will be discontinued in case the school does not meet the quality standards set by the PEF for QAT amended from time to time by BOD.
- Schools are regularly monitored by PEF staff to ensure the basic amenities and teaching aids.
- Good performance schools are awarded based on the QAT result. Modalities are decided by BOD.
- Assistance to the Private Educational Institutions on Per Child Enrolled Basis and Criteria for Selection
After entering into partnership with PEF under FAS program, the recipient schools shall not charge anything in any form from the students i.e. fines, recreation, books fee. Stationery etc.
- The following methodology is usually adopted for selecting the private schools:
- An advertisement would be placed in national dailies;
- Applications will be short listed as per criteria set by BOD.
- Schools will be Evaluated based on their performance in QAT and any other criteria set by BOD.
- The foundation will physically verify the information any time without prior notice.
- Selection of schools will be made subject to the availability of funds with Government.
- In response to the advertisement, the private schools may apply to the Punjab Education Foundation.
- Criteria for Selection of Private Schools Institution:
- Minimum enrollment of 100 students and maximum of 500 students.
- Preference to private schools located in rural areas.
- Physical infrastructure of schools in terms of building, classrooms, library and laboratories (in case of elementary and secondary schools) should be hygienic, congenial and conducive.
- The school should have qualified faculty.
- The students of the short listed schools will be administered a skill-based test in English, Urdu, Science and Mathematics before entering into partnership agreement.
- Girls’ education is the top priority and partnership with girls’ schools under PEF-FAS will be encouraged.
- Any other criteria set by PEF management.
- Schools will be evaluated based upon their performance in Preliminary QAT and other criteria set by BOD.
- The following methodology is usually adopted for selecting the private schools:
- Terms of Partnership:
These terms are changeable and PEF-BOD reserves the rights to change these partnership terms any time with out prior notice to the partner schools.
The Punjab Education Foundation is first party and the school administration is called second party in this agreement.
- That the partnership agreement shall commence on the date on which it is executed and signed and shall remain in force for five years or terminated by the first party on violation by the second party of any stipulation of this instrument.
- That the second party shall register itself with the District Registration Authority within one year after entering into partnership with the first party and in default thereof the first party may discontinue financial assistance under this partnership agreement.
- That the financial assistance to be provided to the second party will amount to Rs. 350/- for elementary and Rs. 400/- for Secondary classes per child enrolled per month to cover tuition fees stationary charges, paper money and allied charges like lab, library, co-curricular activities etc. At the sole discretion of the Board of Directors of the First Party this amount may be increased to account for inflation and/or any other consideration.
- That from the date of execution of this agreement of partnership the second party shall not charge any tuition fee from enrolled students 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 First Party.
- That the Second party must ensure that the students of all relevant classes appear in the annual tests conducted by the Punjab Examination Commission (PEC). The second party will submit whatever information the first party requires with respect to PEC examination including results etc. The second party will be permitted to collect from the students notified fees required by the PEC for participation in the said examination provided written consent has been obtained from the first party.
- That in case of outstanding performance by the second party 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 first party, the Board of Directors of the first party may give awards to the second party and/or its staff. The rules and the criteria for award of such incentives shall be determined by the Board of Directors of the first party.
- That if enrolment of the second party has increased or declined during the period since the last review and verification of the level of enrolment then financial assistance to the second party will be revised for the subsequent period on the basis of variance in the enrolment.
- That the physical infrastructure of schools in terms of building, class rooms, toilets, library and laboratories (in case of elementary and secondary schools) must be hygienic, congenial, conducive and airy according to the standards specified by first party.
- That the first party may carry out class-wise random inspections of the second party to check/verify the veracity of the first party reported enrolment, improvements made in the infrastructure and standards of cleanliness and hygiene at any time without notice during working hours of the second party. Students and teachers of the school being supported under the PEF-FAS program may also be interviewed and must be directly accessible to the representatives of the first party without any representative of the school administration being present during the conduct of this exercise. In case enrollment data has been reported incorrectly or in case of any other false statement as verified by observation or by documentation maintained by the school or based on testimonials of students or teachers of the second party, the first party will reserve the right to penalize or to discontinue forthwith any financial assistance, without serving any prior notice.
- That the first party will administer bi-annual tests to the students of the second party to assess eligibility for continued financial assistance under this partnership. The second party is required to maintain quality standards by ensuring the students of the school pass the Quality Assurance Tests (QATs), as per criteria fixed by BoD of PEF, conducted by, or on behalf of, the first party. In case of failure of the second party in these Tests, the first party reserves the right to immediately terminate any financial assistance under this partnership agreement.
- That the second party must abide by the rules and regulations, timing and schedules, format and method prescribed by the first party for the overall school educational environment, campus hygiene and bi-annual QATs. This agreement will only be extended after satisfactory performance of the second party.
- That the second party will display on its main gate or any other prominent place a board the format of which the first party will provide stating the provision of free education to children enrolled in the educational institution being supported under the PEF-FAS Program.
- That by the 5th day of every month, the second party shall communicate accurate figures of the enrolment of the institutions, on forms supplied by first party, providing class-wise break-up of the enrolment. In case of co-educational institutions, gender-wise information of enrolment shall also be submitted. In case of late submission of enrolment data, financial assistance will be provided on the basis of the data communicated and recorded in the last available inspection report of the first party. Information regarding physical infrastructure if the changes are made in present building infrastructure will be provided to the first party on monthly basis along with building map.
- That the second party 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 second party will not conduct tuition academies or any other profit making venture within the premises of the institution declared as under this partnership agreement.
- That this agreement is non-transferable and, therefore, in case of sale of school to a third party this contract will stand cancelled automatically. In case of any doubts pertaining to ownership of the school or any disputes/civil litigation thereof regarding the second party that develop before or after entering into this partnership, the first party may cancel the partnership agreement unilaterally without notice or consent of the second party.
- That the teacher student ratio should not exceed 30 students per teacher and no single room may host more than one class at one time.
- That 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 unless the first party has given prior approval for the increase in enrolment of the second party, based on outstanding performance of the second party in QATs. The second party 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 first party, before the second party can enroll more students.
- That the first party will exercise a no-tolerance policy against overcrowding. If the second party is discovered to be overcrowded or congested the first party will impose heavy penalties upon the second party and/or may cancel this partnership agreement and cease all financial support to the second party forthwith. The second party will observe all rules and regulations regarding school timings and holidays, failing which PEF may charge the penalties or what so ever. Provision of furniture, light system ventilation etc will be responsibility of the second party, failing which PEF management may impose penalties as per their judgment.
- That public money is a sacred trust with the first party and it is the statutory responsibility of the first party to ensure that funds are utilized for the purposes that they are provided. Therefore, in the event of an educational institution violating any of the terms and conditions of this agreement the first party reserves the right to withdraw its financial support with immediate effect. On complaints of charging fee, fine or any charges whatsoever without the prior consent of the first party, or any other violation of this agreement, the first party reserves the right to cancel the agreement forthwith without giving any prior notice or impose penalty as per judgment.
- That this agreement is being made on provisional basis. The administration of the second party is hereby held responsible for ensuring the availability of decent quality infrastructure, furniture and hygienic, congenial and conducive conditions within 6 months of the date of execution of this partnership agreement.
- That the second party shall not spend the financial assistance on any other educational institution other than the one named in the agreement. The Administration shall devote its whole time diligently to promote the cause of education and to comply with, in letter and spirit, the terms and conditions of this agreement.
- That in the case of the demise of the principal/entrepreneur/the signatory of the agreement, his/her successor assignee will be deemed to have automatically become a party and shall be bound to observe all the terms and conditions of this agreement. Second party is required to submit its ‘next of kin’ declaration who would assume the responsibilities as per this agreement, in case of demise or any event/accident making the original signatory incapable of agreement execution.
- That this document is executed to provide financial assistance under the scheme of FAS only to the second party on the recommendation and approval of the Board of Directors of the first party. In case of any violation by the second party of the above said clause(s), the first party reserves the right to take any legal action or to initiate proceedings under the rule including penalty or cancellation of the agreement depending upon the nature of the violation. The expenses occurred upon the case of any court proceeding shall be borne by the second party.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the parties aforementioned have signed this agreement of the partnership.
- Mode of Payment
Payments will be made to the schools by PEF through Bank of Punjab online in respective Tehsil/District.
- Quality Assurance Test (QAT)
- QAT will be the critical chief determinant for continuing financial assistance to an educational institution.
- The ADU will ensure that the processes of the examination system are secure and transparent. Absolute fairness, impartiality and professionalism will be the hallmark of QAT.