LAHORE – The Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) will launch pilot project of early childhood education (ECE) at its 186 selected partner schools in Lahore, Rajanpur, Rahim Yar Khan and Toba Tek Singh districts. The purpose of this project is to provide good quality education to under five students so that they may be developed as self-confident students in their education. 

Chairman PEF Engr. Qamar ul Islam said this while presiding over meeting with two member delegation of Department For International Development (DFID) comprising of senior education advisor Ms. Barbara Payne and program manager Ms. Alia Usmani at his office on Wednesday. MD PEF Dr. Aneela Salman, Dy. MD (Fin) Salman Anwar Malik and other program directors were also present on the occasion.

Qamar ul Islam said that location data of all the government and private sector schools in the province has been collected to identity education-deficient areas for opening new partner schools there.  He told that latest IT technology has been efficiently exploited for extending free educational facilities to the poor communities at their doorsteps. This has benefited the deserving students to study free of cost and emerge as useful citizens of the society, he added.

MD PEF Dr. Aneela Salman said that more than three lakh educational vouchers have been issued to the needy male and female children in 36 districts to study free of cost in nearby partner schools. Total number of female students in PEF partner schools is 45 percent. It is satisfying that school partners are also playing the role of community mobilizers to sensitize the local communities to send their children to PEF partner schools. PEF has also involved community social organizations (CSOs) in education-promotion in Muzaffargarh and Rahim Yar Kahn districts through its New School Program. PEF has developed teachers’ information system and their capacity building is also catered for to improve the overall quality of education in partner schools, she added.

DFID’s Barbara Payne termed PEF as ‘good news’ from Pakistan. PEF program directors informed about pace of development in their programs while DMD (Fin) apprised the meeting about financial side of this expansion process.