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. Grant to school is stopped. OPP-RTI is now focusing on the improvement of academics through teacher training. 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. Mobilizating schools towards saving groups and teachers training have re-established contacts among schools.
We have supported the setting up/upgrading of 654 small schools. 363 of these schools are in Orangi and 292 are in the adjoining towns of Gadap, Site, Baldia, Kemari and Bin Qasim. Grant to schools has stopped.
Statistics April'95 – Nov’ 2016
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 1st stage category with student’s enrolment averaging upto 150. The support for the 1st stage has been provided to 322 of these schools plus to 41 new schools i.e. total 363 schools. More schools are being setup. The program extended to more towns; total 292 schools have been supported, 57 in Gadap, 1 in Gulshan, 135 in Baldia, 24 in Kemari, 73 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 was conducted to document the reasons of closing down. The study showed that out of the 56 schools documented closed, 12 are still functioning, 3 schools of the 12 are operating from the same location while 9 have shifted to different locations for various reasons. For details of the 44 schools closed, a report has been compiled.
A survey of KMC govt. schools’ physical structure is being conducted in Orangi Town. 16 schools in 7 campuses have been surveyed. Out of 28, 3 campuses have been decleared “Risky” by the work department. Details will be provided after completion of the survey.
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 148th quarterly progress report, total 69 schools have been supported. Of the schools supported, 27 are managed by women.
A survey conducted shows that out of 46 schools supported in Goths, 41 are functional. In 20 schools enrollment has increased, in 3 enrollment has decreased while in 9 it is same as at the time of support.
Survey documentation of 235 goths shows that total 273 schools exist , of these 180 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) are provide as grant for upgrading small schools. This financial support has been ceased; a total 654 schools have been supported till date.
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 623 loans for upgrading schools (2 last period).
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.
A Fifth stage has emerged for academic improvement, the program has stepped up towards teacher training; training workshops and courses are being conducted by the OPP-RTI education team or resource personals belonging to concern institutions. Last period, a meeting was held with 30 school owners/teachers from 24 schools to discuss the existing quality of education and ways of improvement.
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 1st stage grants and some for the 2nd stage. OPP-OCT continues support for the second and third stages. The fourth and fifith stages are also ongoing. From Oct’11 till Mar’2016 OPP-RTI has mobilized resources from other sources for supporting 64 schools located in the goths of Karachi.
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.
Teachers Training and the School Saving Groups
Fourteen teacher 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. (details next page). A total three 3 days basic teacher training course have been conducted till now 54 teachers participated. Two (3 day and 5 day) training workshops titled “Basics of English: was conducted at OPP- RTI and Asmoon Academy by a partner Head trust, 134 students participated.This period a two day training workshop was conducted on teaching techniques for Science, Math, English and Urdu subjects, lesson planning and class room management – by the Oxford University Press. 84 teachers attended; 44 from Public and 40 from Private schools of Orangi. Contacts have been established with govt. officials; district education officer and deputy district officer Orangi zone west. Govt. teachers also attended the meetings.
There are also School Saving Groups. Some mobilized by the program, while others that are already functioning contact the program for support. Group of 55 schools in Orangi town, named as United Educational Development Society (UEDS), mobilized and facilitated by partner TTRC, is active. Rs. 7,92,050 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 10th 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. 4 groups have been initiated by TTRC with 25 members and Rs. 38,000 savings in Orangi. Since Oct’11, twenty four schools have acquired loans for school upgrading. A group of 31 schools in Baldia town and 14 schools in Site town and three groups of 28 schools in goths of Gadap town are activated. While more groups are being mobilized through partner TTRC.
strengthening the coming together of schools, lectures and forums are
organized. Total 17 lectures have been organized. Threek-e-Niswan also
conducted 10 theatre workshops titled “Peace in Karachi”.
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:
OPP-Education team has renewed their yearly membership with AKU, IED since April 2016.
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.