LAHORE - Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) is taking over 1,006 non-functional schools of the province; out of which, 107 schools will be taken in the phase-one of the project. As the schools are non-functional due to various reasons, including unavailability of teachers, students or buildings, therefore, it has been planned to make them functional through PEF mandate of promoting quality education through public-private partnership. A brain storming session was organised by the PEF at a local hotel on Saturday in which Managing Director PEF Mohyuddin Wani briefed the participants about the PEF initiatives to take over the non-functional schools of the provincial government. Director CPDP Ms Maliha Batool presented the situational analysis of non-functional schools in the province and various suggestions were invited from the participants to explore the possibilities for public-private partnership in education sector to achieve the 100 per cent literacy targets. According to the briefing, the initially proposed schools to the NGOs include 11 schools of district Mandi Bahauddin, 13 Layyah and seven school of Lodhran district which have their buildings; while, 33 out of 41 DG Khan schools, 31 of 38 Muzaffargarh and 23 of 28 Rajanpur district schools have also necessary building infrastructure. Meanwhile, 20 of 33 Mianwali schools, 5 of 16 Multan schools, 41 of 52 Nankana Sahib, 6 of 13 Narowal, 38 of 55 Okara, 4 of 7 Pakpattan, 49 of 78 Rahim Yar Khan, 35 of 51 Rawalpindi, 2 of 7 Sahiwal, 21 of 35 Sargodha, 26 of 48 Sheikhpura, 36 of 47 Sialkot, 9 of 13 Toba Tek Singh and 5 of 6 of Vehari schools have also buildings. It was decided in the meeting that GIS and TNA may be done at the earliest. The interested NGOs was asked to come up with their proposals, as the first phase has to be launched within one month. It was proposed that organisations may suggest modalities to develop sustainable framework by catering indicators like infrastructure, repair and maintenance, teaching and non-teaching staff recruitment, salaries and training, students enrolment and retention, school management committees constitution and their activation, monitoring and evaluation mechanism and roles and responsibilities of PEF and NGOs may be defined accordingly. According to the plan, the NGOs, entrepreneurs may be taken into partnership to achieve the target. Terms and conditions for partnership may be developed on the basis of needs assessment. The NGOs may turn up with suitable models to be implemented successfully and district-wise sustainability may be ensured by the applicant NGO. The public-private partnership for providing quality education at affordable price will be the mandate for the intervention, so that available resources may be utilised optimally in order to increase and ensure access to education. The NGOs showed some concerns regarding legality of the schools adoption, either the said schools will be the property of the government or will be owned by PEF. MD informed the participants that the schools will completely be taken over by PEF and will be made functional through public-private partnership. The budget of selected schools will also be transferred to PEF in order to make schools functional and a framework will be developed to utilise the budget for achieving the target. The NGOs had concerns regarding posts approved in SNE as if the schools are going to be functionalised in public-private partnership, the teaching and non-teaching staff recruitment and salary may also be redefined. NGOs suggested that instead of primary, schools level should be elementary, as there is more drop out rate after primary level. It was decided that a draft framework regarding intervention will be circulated to all the concerned in order to get their feedback on the proposed framework. The NGOs and PEF will work together to develop sustainable model for making schools functional within agreed timelines. Benchmarks will also be settled before intervening. It was decided that after GIS and TNA, schools will be identified in each of the vicinity, so that schools may be functionalised as per needs of the vicinity. The meeting was attended by Adult Basic Education Society (ABES), Idara-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA), Care Foundation, Development in Literacy (DIL), Kashmir Education Foundation, Rural Education and Development Foundation (READ) and Childrens Global Network, Pakistan (CGN).