TCF plans to enroll 2m children in schools by 2030

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KARACHI: With over 1,500 schools established since 1995, The Citizens Foundation (TCF), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), plans to enroll at least two million children in Pakistan by year 2030, marking a landmark in the education field.

In an interview with Pakistan Today, TCF President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Syed Assad Ayub Ahmed said that the NGO had established as many as 1,500 schools in the country which are currently imparting education to some 200,000 children in neglected areas.

“The Citizens Foundation was established in 1995 that deliberated many social issues of the society and finally the field of education was chosen,” he said.

“Initially, we decided to establish 1,000 schools in all parts of the country to give education to children whose parents could not afford it. We finally succeeded in attaining the target in 2014. After this the number of schools has reached to 1,500, that also included taking over the operations of some 271 government schools in just five months,” the CEO added.

“As our school network is growing year by year, our focus remains on continuous improvement and innovation to provide the best quality education that we can to our children and to continue uplifting the communities we operate in.”

“Education is the key to eliminating gender inequality and fostering peace. It is great equaliser – a force that can overcome differences in background, culture, and privilege. It is this belief that has fuelled our team’s work and efforts throughout the past year,” he added.

The TCF president said that “we strive to equip our students with the values, knowledge and understanding necessary to be able to make informed choices for their future. This year saw a tremendous increase in the percentage of students securing A+ grades, which rose from 48 percent to 64 percent. It also marked the first successful completion of ‘Principals Quality Index’ (PQI) – a standard mechanism for assessing and improving the performance of our principals. PQI maps performance on academics, discipline, attendance and other key indicators for effective principal leadership. ”

Asaad Ayub said that in 2016, the Punjab government identified the worst performing 3,000 schools to be handed over to private partners. Those schools were selected on the basis of low enrollment, poor results and teacher absenteeism. TCF assumed the management of 271 government schools out of which 254 are in Punjab.

“After takeover, TCF put in its systems and management controls to run the schools and within a span of one year, the grade five results have shown a 72 percent pass rate in the provincial board examinations. We are now actively engaging with other provincial governments for expansion throughout Pakistan,” Asaad Ayub added.

The TCP president explained that TCF College – Qayyumabad is now in its second year of operations. It is an educational model which ensures that students not only achieve competitive academic results in their intermediate examinations and are able to apply for admission into some of the world’s best universities, but also hone their leadership and communication skills to succeed beyond college.

“In January 2017, more than 1,500 students from 68 TCF schools in Karachi appeared for our college entrance test. Of these, 500 students were shortlisted for a selection camp in May and 230 merit list students were finalised for the college in June, taking the overall number of enrolled students in this Pre-Engineering College to 439. TCF launched its Alumi Development Programme (ADP) in 2014 to prepare its students for entrance examinations at leading universities across the country,” he said.

“This year, through ADP, 80 students were prepared to take university entrance test, out of which 54 students successfully got through into some of Pakistan’s top universities. Our community development adult literacy program for women and out-of-school girls was awarded the UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy 2017. This year’s theme was ‘Literacy in a Digital World’, and Agahi was recognised on the basis of its effective use of digital tools for monitoring and evaluation of the program.”

“TCF’s Business Intelligence Platform (BIP) system which was launched last year, continued to be developed further. New financial and schools performance dashboards were added this year. BIP is now being utilised by all senior management staff for performance monitoring and evaluation.”

“TCF continues to use ‘Microsoft Great Plains’ and ‘Microsoft Dynamics Constituent Relationship Management’ systems to streamline the work of finance, supply chain, and resource mobilisation departments,” the chief executive officer said, adding that “many of TCF graduates have found their way into top ranked universities in Pakistan while others are making a difference through community service and by utilising their skills in their chosen profession.”

According to the president, TCF was announced the winner of the esteemed ‘Best Corporate Report Award 2016′ in the NGO category from the joint evaluation committee of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) and Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICMAP), the top ranking accounting bodies of Pakistan.

“We are the only organisation to have continuously won this award since its introduction in 2012.”

“The Management Association of Pakistan (MAP) also awarded TCF with its Certificate of Excellence at their 32nd Corporate Excellence Awards. TCF has been a three-time winner of MAP’s Corporate Excellence Award in the past. TCF was also judged as Joint Winner in NPO category for the Best Presented Annual Report 2015 by the South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA),” TCF President Asaad Ayub concluded.

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