Aiming to enhance the low cost school education system in Punjab, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) organized two-day conference named “harnessing the potential of low-fee private schools” at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).
In the inaugural session, Maria Leznicki,Vice President of Brand Strategy at Bridge International Academies; Nairobi Kenya, briefly explained about the purpose of the conference. She also emphasis on the objectives of the meeting with the stakeholders came from various districts of Punjab. She said that she was running schools on the basis of almost no profit and no loss but apart from all these we are giving as much as we can. She said that passion to work with loyalty is the key to success. She shared her memories that from where they started and now where they stand.
Dr. Faisal Bari, Associate Professor at LUMS while expressing said that USAID gave an opportunity to share their views and suggestions for betterment of the school education in the province. He said that all educationists gathered under the single roof where they can understand and communicate with others but from the same work line.
Sujatha Muthayya, educationist from India in her address to the participants said that we are here to follow a model which can lead us towards better education facilities for the schools. She said that there must be a central body to deal with all hurdles which were been faced by the stakeholders. Private schools owners catering a massive community of middle class so they should be facilitated maximum not only by the government but Non government organizations.
On a video conference, Tahir Andarabi, professor of Economics at Pomona College explained about the economic factors and sources of generating funds for smooth running of the schools. He said that we have potential to produce a skillful nation and the donor agencies can play their roles for imparting education among the children who can hardly bear the expenses.
Dr. Ahmad Mushtaque Raza Chowdhury, Vice Chair and advisor to the Founder and Chairperson of BRAC in his address explain the importance of the education. He said that people of all walks of life should participate for the cause. Sharing Ideas is an approach which gave strength for doing something good. He shared his experiences of education and explained that nothing is impossible if we want to do something.
Baela Raza Jamil, director programs for the Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) shared her journey to the audience. She said that joined hand with this initiative if we really feel that education for all is the only gift what we can give our coming generation. Private school owners are actually serving the nation through education but still there is a gap between education and better education. She said that we are given an opportunity through this conference that share ideas for providing better education in less fee. Now it is our responsibility to communicate and express maximum with their fellows.
Kayhan Karli from Turkey highlighted the historical perspective of the Private schooling in Turkey and said that the first ever private school of Turkey established in 1876. Since that era to till now there is a range of private schools which are serving there people. Categorically low fee and elite schools are there but schooling is little expensive in Turkey. Luckily, government is very much concern and facilitating the stakeholder according to the criteria defined by the government. A part from this the funding agencies play their roles for the betterment of this sector.
In the last session of the conference the participants were given a chance to suggest their own policies for establishing less fee school system in their own living land. The participants, divided into eight groups having a leader of each group who was called on podium for sharing the thought.
Later in the conclusive address Sajjad Mughal, representative of USAID tanked the all participants and especially USAID initiative for the better education in Pakistan. He said that we have learnt from you all what you gave us in the conference. It is not an end but it’s a beginning of a bright day coming ahead for the next generation. Your cooperation was needed to deal with all obstacles at your part and we will try to solve every issue with all means. Once again thank you all for joining us not only for the day but we are expecting more from your side.