ORANGI PILOT PROJECT
RESEARCH AND TRAINING INSTITUTE (OPP-RTI)
EDUCATION PROGRAMME: SUPPORT TO SMALL SCHOOLS IN KARACHI
Educated Youths Take the Initiative:
As the Sanitation Programme spread in Orangi and in other low income settlements in Karachi, OPP-RTI came in contact with the educated youths from these settlements, most of whom were college students. Having been educated themselves they had the desire to educate neighbourhood children. These children could not go to school, either because they could not afford the high fees of established schools, or there were no schools nearby, or the working children were free only in the evening. Some educated youths were already giving private tuition. They had some space in their homes for starting a school but lacked funds for purchase of mats, stationery, black boards, table and chair. In some cases construction of a shed or roofing of a verandah was needed
We decided to support these young entrepreneurs in setting up schools by providing a small grant, ranging from Rs.1300 to Rs.6000. In April 1995 we provided support to a youth of Islamia Colony, Site town, for the first school. Rs.1300/- was given for construction of a roof over a verandah in his home which could be used as a classroom. Then 5 more youths from nearby settlements were provided support. Students from Ghaziabad in Orangi wanted to educate children from their settlement, who worked in the embroidery and carpet workshops. In Sept'95, they set up a night school, with a support of Rs.4500/-. Soon more requests for support from Orangi as well as from settlements outside Orangi started being received. We found that there were many small schools set up by educational entrepreneurs. These needed small support of Rs. 10,000 to 20,000/- for physical upgrading. Often it was found that with no support the initiative would fizzle out. Small grant support to initiatives proved to be effective in confidence building and solvency of the small schools. With small schools becoming successful more new schools have been setup as the demand has increased. This is the demonstration affect. From April’95 upto March 2007 we supported the upgrading of schools with small grants. Then for about a year and a half, the program only focused on mobilizing School Saving Groups and teachers forums. Since Nov 2008, small grant support to schools has restarted, complimenting and strengthening the School Saving Groups. A study was conducted to observe the status of the schools supported. It was observed that there is a need to strengthen contacts among schools and form a cooperative so that joint actions become a possibility. A new initiative has been taken to promote joint ventures by linking saving with the support of grant. As a first step, small schools (from Orangi, Site, Baldia, Keamari and Gadap town) need to start saving, creating saving groups. These saving groups will then be supported by the grant provided by OPP-RTI. To further strengthen these joint ventures, grant support is also linked to yearly memberships being provided by OPP-RTI for training course/workshop. The schools need to be a member of a saving group or the yearly membership to request for grant. Its mobilization is under way; encouraging the initiative, OPP-RTI will support them by providing grants, loans and teacher trainings for their upgradation.
Uptil Mar. 2015 we have supported the setting up/upgrading of 638 small schools. 358 of these schools are in Orangi and 280 are in the adjoining towns of Gadap, Site, Baldia, Kemari and Bin Qasim. We had 37 requests for support from schools of Orangi, Baldia, Gadap and Site towns. Visits, surveys and meetings with school entreprenuers are underway. 30 have been supported.
Statistics April'95 - March' 2015
The 2002 - 2006 survey of the settlements of Orangi Town showed that there are 644 private schools (setup by local educational entrepreneurs) and 69 govt. schools. Orangi map documenting the location of the surveyed schools is available. Of the private schools, it has been observed that 50% i.e. 322 are small schools falling in the 1 st stage category with student’s enrolment averaging upto 150. The support for the 1 st stage has been provided to 322 of these schools plus to 36 new schools i.e. total 358 schools. More schools are being setup. The program has extended to more towns; total 280 schools have been supported, 52 in Gadap, 1 in Gulshan, 131 in Baldia, 24 in Kemari, 70 in Site and 2 in Bin Qasim town.
A survey conducted shows 98 schools supported by OPP-RTI of those 56 have closed down in UC-6 and 8 Orangi town. An impact study is being due to document the reasons of closing down education resources.
Schools in the goths of Karachi: As contacts in the goths (traditional villages fast becoming urban) in Karachi have increased due to the Secure Housing Support Program (section 3 of the 141st Quarterly Progress report), schools in the goths are increasingly being supported. Total 63 schools have been supported. Of the schools supported, 24 are managed by women. Last period meetings were organized among the school entrepreneurs, need for coming together as saving groups was discussed. Details are in 6.7.of the 141st Quarterly Progress report
A survey conducted in shows that out of 46 schools supported in Goths 41 are functional. In 20 schools enrolment has increased, in 3 enrollment has decreased while in 9 it is same as at the time of support.
Survey documentation of 228 goths shows that total 271 schools exist , of these 179 schools have been setup by community enterpreneurs.
Stages in Expansion:
We have observed that there are four stages in the strengthening of these schools, a fifth stage has also emerged:
First: when educational entrepreneurs need small financial support, about Rs. 15,000-18,000 (lately Rs. 20,000) for upgrading small schools.
Second: within a year the schools take an institutional shape with salaried teachers, and students paying fees. There is increased demand for enrolment of students. Need arises for physical expansion i.e construction of an additional classroom or roofing over existing structures. At this stage support amounting to about Rs.35,000 is needed. This support is important for the survival of the new schools. Initially donors provided grants for a few schools, later OPP-OCT (Orangi Charitable Trust) credit program arranged interest free loans.
Third: with support at both the stages, the schools become stable as formal educational institutions. They then develop the capacity to upgrade their schools thru taking loans and paying them back with interest. OPP- OCT has so far given 621 loans for upgrading schools.
Fourth: with the coming together of a number of schools (about 20-40/group) as savings and credit groups, for continued upgrading. OPP-RTI supports the mobilization of the groups, and provides some matching grant (related to the savings) later in the process.
A Fifth stage has emerged for academic improvement, the program has stepped up towards teachers training. The schools will be provided yearly membership by OPP-RTI for participation in workshop/ training courses. Course will be conducted by the OPP-RTI team or resource personals belonging to concern institutions, process is underway.
Budget for Expansion:
From 1996 upto Feb’11 Rs. 8,513,134 were received as grants mainly from Homeless International (H.I). Total 574 schools were supported. Most schools were supported with the 1 st stage grants and some for the 2 nd stage. OPP-OCT continues support for the second and third stages. The fourth and fifith stages are also ongoing. From Oct’11 till date OPP-RTI has mobilized resources from other sources for supporting 63 schools located in the goths of Karachi, support continues.
Revolving fund for interest free loans to schools
The fund is managed by the OPP-OCT, the micro credit institution. Total 181 schools have acquired interest free loans amounting to Rs.31,88,710 from this fund, for further improvements. 5 schools are paying back the loan regularly, of 2 schools loans were written off due to the death of the entrepreneurs, 174 schools have paid back their loans.
Teachers Training and the School Saving Groups
Fourteen teachers training courses were organized during 2000-05, in which 379 teachers belonging to 138 schools participated. The program was paced down due to non availability of affordable trainers. The grant support has been a source of confidence building for the schools, which have been strengthened and encouraged to undertake joint activities. It has been observed that several school groups have started offering regular teachers training courses. The new initiative is that the education team is under training to become master trainers and provide teachers training, at low cost to these schools. A total two 3 days basic teacher training course have been conducted till now 29 teachers participated.
There are also School Saving Groups. Some mobilized by the program, while others that are already functioning contact the program for support. 1) Group of 55 schools in Orangi town, named as United Educational Development Society (UEDS), mobilized and facilitated by partner TTRC, is active. Rs. 7,62,050 has been saved thru monthly contributions. OPP-RTI provided a small matching grant. Small credit, of Rs.5,000-25,000, was provided by the group to total 28 member schools. Support for lab equipments was also provided, more then 200 students of 12 schools continue to use these. To avoid the menace of cheating, in the 10 th grade examinations conducted by the govt., since Feb’10 the group has organised regular pre examination trials. Total 920 students of 47 member schools participated. On the groups request OPP-OCT has allocated Rs. 5,00,000 for credit to the member schools. Since Oct’11, Twenty four schools have acquired loans for school upgrading. 2) Group of 31 schools in Baldia town - the Private Schools Development Organization (PSDO), and a saving group (Ahbab-e-Ilm) comprising of 14 schools in Site town have been dropped out due to internal issues. Three groups (located in the Goths of Gadap town) with 28 member schools were inactive since last one year. On OPP-RTI’s mobilization one of them “The Best” has restarted with 9 (5 previous and 4 new) members and so far have saved Rs. 9000. The group when active had spent their saving on purchasing of desks and got benefit of Rs. 27,000. The groups are being guided, while more groups are being mobilized through partner TTRC.
For strengthening the coming together of schools, lectures and forums are organized. Total thirteen lectures were organized. Last period titled “Highway to health” was conducted by the “Behbood Association” in Dec’14. 55 school owners/teachers of 21 schools participated. Besides adding to their skills, the events have provided an opportunity to school owners and teachers to come together. (Lectures and forums have been documented, six have been published. As needed schools also use these printed lectures in their training courses). This coming together of school owners and teachers strengthens and more offen restablishes contacts. OPP-RTI has taken a step to support these schools.
Courses taken by the Education team:
Rethinking our Education System, Desire for Betterment. 2) Science Club: an Innovative approach of introducing Research and Inquiry. 3) Effective questioning in Science. 4) Role and Responsibility of a Teacher, Class room Management, how Children Learn, Teaching aid Development, language development, lesson planning. 5) Learn Innovative Approach in teaching Science. Focussing on reading and writing skills. 6) Land Forms: Pakistan. 7) Holistic approach towards learning Social Studies. 8) Making choices and decisions in Career path. 9) Emotional Intelligence
Statistical profile of 638 schools are available, in addition, interview profiles of total 104 school entrepreneurs, pictorial profiles of total 400 schools have been prepared.
Research data on the status of student’s enrollment is being compiled. Of the 109 schools supported, between 2006-09, data shows that at the time of support there were total 16,812 students, by June’12 there are now 26,024, a 64.6% increase.
Documentation shows that with the grant for the 1 st stage amounting to Rs. 12,000 to 20,000, some schools were able to manage physical developments worth 2-3 times the amount. The school entrepreneurs have received most financial support from their families, for initiating and strengthening the schools.
Profiles of 10 selected educational entrepreneurs, published in English and Urdu, is available. For the second edition, profiles of ten women educational entrepreneurs has been published in Urdu, which includes schools supported mostly located in the Goths of Gadap town. This is being translated into English.
A pictorial map of schools has been prepared, showing pictures of schools supported in Goths with reference to their location on the map of Karachi.