Volume 2, No. 1, January 2009


*Muhammad Iqbal & *Maqsood Ahmad

*Professor, Department of Education, Abasyn University, Peshawar


The study made an analysis of the community schools established under the Ammal project in the North-West Frontier Province during the period from 1998 through 2001. The analysis was made in terms of enrollment, quality, teachers, employment opportunities, public-private partnership as well as sustainability. The study examined 90 community schools established in Districts Dir, Dera Ismail Khan and Mardan. The following questions were examined: 1. What prompted the sponsors to establish community schools under the Ammal Project? 2. What different roles were assigned to different partners of the Project e.g. the FEF, DPE, DFID and NGOs for funding, coordinating, monitoring and implementing the project? 3. What was the mechanism for sustainability and replication of community schools? 4. What benefits the project brought to the population of the three districts in terms of access, quality and employment opportunities? 5. What recommendations the study made to address future problems of sustainability for launching similar types of projects in collaboration with other partners? The purpose of education, at the primary level, is the acquisition of basic literacy and numeric skills, appreciation of surroundings, and socialization of learners to understand and appreciate the dignity and identity of national values, culture and community. The Primary Education Development Program of the North-West Frontier Province involved private sector and communities in promotion of access and quality of primary education. Different donors including USAID, DFID, GTZ, NEDA, UNICEF, JICA, PEP-TAC, IDA, and WFP financed the different components of the program. The universalization of primary education remained the corner stone of the National Education Policies of the Government of Pakistan. The first priority was to increase the learning of the children by retaining them in schools so that those enrolled completed the primary education cycle. The second priority was to provide access to all school age children. For retention of children in schools, efforts were needed to facilitate them to complete the cycle by such measures as checking of absenteeism of teachers particularly in remote areas; tightening supervision and monitoring of the delivery of services and making the curriculum relevant to local environment. The study was significant because public-private partnership was receiving high importance in education sector and issues of replication and sustainable development emerged, which were not timely addressed in the strategic plans of the government. This created administrative problems for the government, the NGOs and the donors whose stake was also involved in these development initiatives. The study took timely cognizance to help the stakeholders in education to be more careful and responsive to the solution of issues of sustainability arising from the joint initiatives of the public-private partnership The study found that the Ammal Project of community schools provided best model of public-private partnership in the form of civil society versus community versus FEF versus DPE through DEOs and the donors, who provided financial and technical support. The interrelationship was also demonstrated in the form of interaction among the partners as well as among NGOs and communities, teachers, Village Education Committees and School Management Committees. Sustainability of community schools remained burning issue till last and efforts were continued by sponsors of the project to resolve this issue at the belated stage. A number of problems emerged during implementation of the project including the certification of the academic achievements of students of community schools; the sectarian differences between two sects in district of Dera Ismail Khan; the opposition of the NGO culture in District Dir and lack of support from employers in Mardan city. The non-availability of local qualified teachers for community schools also remained a problem. In all the community schools the quality aspect was taken care of by providing a number of the needed inputs of teachers, teaching material, evaluation of students etc and timely delivery of support services.

Key Words: Primary education, NGO's, Community, Schools.




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