Regulatory Framework to Ensure Quality of Education in Private Schools in Pakistan

The Punjab Education Foundation was established in 1991 and restructured in 2004 into an autonomous and independent institution to promote high quality education for the poor through partnerships with the private sector. It is funded by the government of Punjab Province of Pakistan and is headed by a 15-member, government-appointed board of directors, the majority of whom are from the private sector.

The Foundation Assisted Schools Program aims to improve education quality taking full advantage of the capacity the mushrooming number of private schools in Punjab…The program attempts to improve quality through three fundamental components: vouchers, teacher training and monetary incentives to schools for improved academic performance. The accountability components include:

Requirements for eligibility: At least two-thirds of students have to score at least 33 percent in an academic test as a pre-requisite to receive vouchers. In addition, schools have to meet other basic school input requirements, largely of a non-quantifiable nature, that are evaluated by inspectors.

A Specialized Institution to Manage PPPs: The program is managed by an independent institution, the Punjab Education Foundation, which is fully funded by the provincial government and whose mandate is to use public-private mechanisms to increase access to and improve quality of the province’s low cost private education sector. Advantages of having a special institution include less bureaucratic pressure on schools from traditional government institutions and the potential to introduce special management practices in contracting.

Incentives and Sanctions Related to Performance: The program includes performance-based incentives at the school and teacher levels. Monetary awards are granted to the school that demonstrates the highest pass rate, and actual test scores are taken into account. Teachers in schools with high pass rates are entitled to direct monetary bonuses. If schools fail to meet minimum academic, infrastructure or teaching requirements for three consecutive years, they are banned from the program.

See: Patrinos, H.A., Barrera-Osorio, F., Guaqueta, J. (2009). The Role and Impact of Public-Private Partnerships in Education. World Bank, Washington, D.C.

 

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