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Expected Limitations And Delimitations Education Essay

Research Methodology

The focus of study is on affordable private schools in Nishat Colony for which it is important to personally visit these schools and get hold of the primary data. The data is collected via personal in-depth interviews. However, secondary data is also collected to augment the studies.

Primary Data

Interviews were held with the school administration to clarify and provide insight into how exactly the school operates. While the interviews were not be formal or structured, the kinds of questions asked have helped to identify the profile of the owners of school, the number of teachers employed, the number of students enrolled. Moreover, to check if the administration is portraying the true picture, interviews were also held with various teachers and students who were asked to share their experience of being a part of respective school. The general strategy for the interviews is to start with broad questions and follow up on the interviewee’s responses, to capture his or her meanings and to avoid imposing my meanings on the interviewee.

Secondary Data

Secondary Data is mainly taken from official government websites; Economic Survey of Pakistan, Pakistan Social and Living Standard Measurement, Pakistan Labor Force Survey and State Bank of Pakistan. Along with that, data is obtained from United Nation Educational Scientific Cultural Organization, United Nations Development Policy and reports of the World Bank. Those who have carried out the researches are well reputed in their respective fields. Investigations are made through vigorous readings and analyses of documents, literature, reports and experts opinions. All the documents and opinions are explained, and analyzed. Many have used researched and techniques which are replicated by other researches and thus they have supported their studies with empirical and theoretical justifications.

Expected limitations and Delimitations

The main constraint would be the biased responses of the schools administration. They might not tell the true picture and would portray themselves to be the best at what they are doing.

However, the delimitations of this study would be that all the sources which are used to conduct the research are highly authentic, reliable and empirically and theoretically justified.

Time Frame

Prepare proposal by 4th August

Complete literature review by 1st September

Complete fieldwork by 1st October

Complete analysis by 10th November

Complete final report in December

Research Findings

The research includes 10 affordable private schools from Nishat Colony, Cantt area Lahore. All these schools cater to the low income families of this area. Nishat colony has 70 such private schools working at present. The chosen schools were a part of the convenience sampling. Except for 2 schools, the rest of the 8 have been there for more than 10 years. Hence, the authorities interviewed gave a lot of insight about the area as well as the private schools working there.

Regarding as to why these poor parents do not send their children to the public schools that provide free education as well as books, he said that the public institutes have lost their credibility completely. The poor people might not be educated themselves but they still prefer private schools because of their better education and facilities.

Nishat Model School is a primary school with classes from playgoup till 10th grade. It is run by Ms Afifa, a 42 year old lady who turned one wing of her house into a school. There are in total 10 teachers, teaching 90 students within a 10 marla building. Out of the 10 teachers, 4 are Ms Afifa’s daughters. Upon being asked as to how they run their household and what their main source of income is, Ms Afifa replied that her sons work in Dubai and they send money back to their family. They run the school out of goodwill for the local kids whose parents would be more interested in putting their kids into physical labor than sending them to a school. According to Ms Afifa, the only reason the parents of the lower tier send kids to these private schools is that their fee is very low and very flexible. They pay when it is easy for them to pay and not out of compulsion. She said that most of these private schools are being run in sheer good will and the need for the owner to play the role of a responsible citizen.

Name

Nishat Model School

Bismillah High School

Al Hameed Grammer School

Al-Huda School

Abdullah Model School

Abu Huraira Islamia

Al Munir High School

Al Qalam High School

Asif Orient School

Decent School

Owner

Miss Afifa

Mr Raja Arshad

Mr Lodhi

Mr Aziz Shaukat

Mr Aslam Abdullah

Mr Fahim Chaudary

Mr Munir Nawaz

Mr Naveed Shah

Miss Naila Rafique

Mrs Zakir

Location

Nishat Colony

Nishat Colony

Nishat Colony

Nishat Colony

Nishat Colony

Nishat Colony

Nishat Colony

Nishat Colony

Nishat Colony

Nishat Colony

Year of Existance

1982

1995

2008

2012

1987

1992

1999

1988

1985

1992

Area Covered by School

10 marla

10 marla

15 marla

10 marla

10 marla

8 marla

15 marla

8 marla

8 marla

10 marla

Debt/Equity Financed

equity financed

equity financed

equity financed

equity financed

equity financed

equity financed

equity financed

equity financed

equity financed

equity financed

Building Purchased/Rented

Purchased

purchased

Rented

rented

purchased

Purchased

rented

purchased

purchased

Purchased

Initial Investment

2-2.5 lakhs

4.5-5 lakhs

2-2.5 lakhs

3.5-4 lakhs

3-3.5 lakhs

4.5-5 lakhs

3-3.5 lakhs

2-2.5 lakhs

2-2.5 lakhs

3-3.5 lakhs

Classes Upto

playgroup to 10

nursury to 10

playgroup to 10

playgroup to 10

nursury to 10

playgroup to 10

nursury to 10

playgroup to 10

playgroup to 10

nursury to 10

Total Number of Teachers Employed

10

9

6

4

6

5

7

6

7

8

Female Teachers

10

9

4

4

6

5

5

5

7

7

Male Teachers

0

0

2

0

0

0

2

1

0

1

Salary Structure (Rupees per month)

1500-2000rs

1800-2200rs

1500-2000rs

2000-2500rs

1500-2000rs

1800-2000rs

1500-2000rs

1800-2000rs

1500-2200s

1500-2500

Total Number of Students Enrolled

90

80

70

50

80

70

60

70

60

90

Students per Section

multi grade

multi grade

multi grade

multi grade

multi grade

multi grade

multi grade

multi grade

multi grade

multi grade

Fee Structure (Rupees per month)

150-200rs

300-350rs

300-350rs

350-400rs

200-250rs

250-300rs

250-300rs

150-200rs

200-250rs

200-250rs

Curriculum Followed

Jawad Publishers/Punjab Publishers

Jawad Publishers

Skill Publishers/ Afaaf Publishers

New Star Publishers

Punjab Publisher/ Adan Publishers/ Afaq Publishers

Children Paradise Publishers

Zia Publishers/A.S Publishers/ Aghaz Publishers

Punjab publishers/ 7th Sky Publishers/ Ahsan Publishers

Rabia Book House/A.H Publishers/A.N Publishers

Kiran Publishers/ A to Z Publishers

Urdu or English Medium

variable with respect to students capability

english

English

variable with respect to students capability

variable with respect to students capability

English

urdu

urdu

english

English

*Survey Findings

School Name

Nishat Model School

Bismillah High School

Al Hadi Grammer School

Merit Insurrance School

Abdullah Model School

Abu Huraira Islamia

Al Munir High School

Al Qalam High School

Asif Orient School

Decent School

Qualifications of Teachers

FSC

6

5

4

2

4

3

3

4

3

5

BA

3

4

2

1

1

2

2

2

3

2

MA

1

0

0

1

1

0

2

0

1

1

Total Number of Teachers Employed

10

9

6

4

6

5

7

6

7

8

Salary with respect to Qualification

FSC

1500

1800

1500

2000

1500

1800

1500

1800

1500

1500

BA

1800

2200

2000

2200

1700

1800

1700

2000

1800

2000

MA

2000

2500

2000

2000

2200

2500

Total Salary Paid to Teachers (per month)

16400

17800

10000

8700

9700

9000

11900

11200

12100

14000

Total Number of Students Enrolled

90

80

70

50

80

70

60

70

60

90

Average Fee per Month (Rupees)

200

325

325

375

225

275

275

200

225

225

Fee Collected Monthly (Rupees)

18000

26000

22750

18750

18000

19250

16500

14000

13500

20250

*Survey Findings

Notes: The figures of salary and fees are rough estimates as these figures are highly negotiable depending upon various factors.

The Entrepreneurs

The owners of all the schools were mostly educated individual around the age of 35-50 with either a BA or MA degree. Initially they taught at different schools and once they gain the teaching experience from there, they start up their own business of affordable private schools. If the owner is a male, he does not usually sit in the school. He is mostly busy with his second business, which maybe a government job, or a small shop etc. Thus, he employs someone else to head the school for him. However, in case the owner is a female, she herself looks after the school and manages it accordingly.

The Entrepreneur as Tutors

Before investing in a school, entrepreneurs tend to invest in tuition academies where they themselves teach as tutors. This is because the parents might take risk in getting their children admitted to new tuition academy then in a new school. The reason behind this is the monetary cost. The monetary cost of admitting in a new school in terms of school uniform and books is much more when compared to an academy. They open academy for 6-12 months and once they are successful and become known in their neighborhood, they start providing primary education and soon secondary education as well. Another interesting fact about the schools of this area is that almost all of them work as regular schools in the mornings and then serve as tuition centres for the same students in the evening. There are different set of teachers for both the shifts. The tuition centre’s fee structure is the same as the school’s, i.e. Rs 200 to 300 per month for one child. The reason behind opening up tuition centres in the evening is that it brings in some extra amount of money to the owners as they all complain that the income from the schools is hardly at a breakeven point even after being in business for so long. Moreover, the families of the students are not educated enough to help the children with their home works and so tuition centres also help the students to complete their home works.

Unions

Raja Arshad, the owner and the principal of Bismillah High School, is also the President Member of the Supreme Council of Private Schools Association, a union made to head these schools. According to Raja Arshad, the private schools within Lahore do not run on their own, in other words, they are not their own boss. They are not allowed to make individual decisions, without the consent of the union heads of their respective areas. This however proved to be wrong as the research proceeded. The schools are divided under different zones and there are 3 different unions in charge of these 3 different zones. These 3 unions then combine to form one central authority that heads these schools. Raja Arshad, the president is in charge of the Cantt zone. The private school heads are not allowed to divulge any information concerning their running and internal working unless the union heads approve of it.

Affordable Private Schools-Secondary Source of Income

According to the owners of the schools, majority of the affordable private schools are on the verge of either breakeven or earn a very low net profit. However there are only 3-4 schools in Nishat colony that have a high profit margin; Cantt Grammer, Student Islamia, Aksari School, Falcon School and Jinnah International. According to the entrepreneurs, schools who have around 1000 students enrolled with them earn a reasonable amount of profit. Due to low income of other small-scale schools, the business of affordable private schools cannot be a primary source of income for any individual. Mostly, it is a secondary source of income for a family, where either the owner employs someone to head the school or the woman of the house takes the charge of running the school. The primary source of income for many entrepreneurs is the government jobs, small shops or cloth business.

Sources of Finance

All these schools have been put up with equity financing. One of the school owners, when asked as to why he did not take a bank loan to put up the school, answered

‘The banks do not give loans to entrepreneurs like us. The bigger schools like Beaconhouse or Grammar, that are in the business for ages and are for-profit-organizations, having a consistent flow of money are more likely candidate of bank loans. Small business owners like ourselves have to put all our money at stake and venture into something like this alone. The government does not support us although we are making a huge contribution towards the society. Had it not been for us, all these children would be out of schools doing manual labor or begging in streets’.

The entrepreneurs have no other option but to invest their earning from another source of income. Moreover, they prefer not to get involved in bank dealing because of the strict policies of all the banks.

Initial Investment

The major part of the initial investment to set up an affordable private school is the advance rent of the building. Mostly the land and building are purchased by the owners because of high rent expenses. In case the building is rented, it leaves a very low net profit for the owner. The approximate rent for a 10 marla building is around Rs 16000 per month. In general, the schools that were opened long back have their own buildings whereas the schools that started recently have rented the buildings due to high cost of purchasing the land.

Infrastructure

Average area a school covers is 11 marlas and caters to 100 students and below. The building has on average seven rooms that are used as classes. Few of the school surveyed were opened in houses. The family of the owner used the upper portion of the building as house whereas the lower portion was turned into a school to teach the students. The classes range from playgroup to 10th grade with no fixed number of students per class. 100% of the schools surveyed were multi grade which means a teacher teaches a classroom of students of different ages and grade levels; hence the number of students per class varies largely. Kindergarten initially was considered only to be there for the elite but the recent trends have changed and even the lower tier tends to get their children into school at an early age. When asked about the reason behind this shift, Mr Raja Arshad told us that due to the harsh financial conditions of such lower class families and the rising mental frustration among the housewives, they tend to seek refuge for themselves as well as for their kids in these schools.

Female Teachers

The second option for the entrepreneurs is to hire male teachers; however, this would not be a cheap option. According to Mr Lodhi, principle of Al Hameed Grammer School, the wage differential between males and females suggest a 20-25% discount for female teachers. Moreover, the affordable private schools are mostly co educational and so having female teachers could be a way of getting more girls into the school. According to another principle, Miss Naila Rafique, there are more affordable private schools in urban areas of Lahore then in rural areas. The main reason for this is that there are hardly any educated females available in rural area who could be employed teachers. In general, the affordable private schools existing in rural areas have female teachers who were educated in the same village as the one they are teaching in. Due to cultural constraints, females have limited employment opportunities of which the best would be to teach in some school. Thus, most of the schools are opened in areas where there is excess supply of moderately educated females so that the entrepreneurs can hire them at minimum cost. If the school is opened in area where there is not enough supply of educated females, it would be hard for it to sustain in long term.

Salary Structure of Teachers

The teacher population is highly dominated by females for two reasons; one is that female teachers are readily available. Second is that due to the large number of women interested in teaching, the employer can easily exploit the wages given to them. The teachers coming to these private schools are from nearby houses and with poor backgrounds. Most of them are young girls, freshly graduated and waiting for marriage. They work to either support the earning head of the family or for extra pocket money. The kind of pay they get is not enough to support an entire family or a household. The teachers at these schools are paid as less as Rs 1500 per month and as high as Rs 2500 per month which is way below the government- implemented lowest wage for teachers (Rs 6000 per month). Interesting fact is that teachers usually shift to another school even if the wage differential is only Rs 200. Mr Fahim Chaudary shared his own experience where a lot of his teachers left his school because the other school was paying them Rs 200 more. Considering the fact that these female teachers live nearby, they would teach in any school located within their neighborhood that is paying them more irrespective of anything else. Reason for this is the lack of a regulatory authority that could keep checks and balances on these institutions. The union head did boast about the responsibilities of the union and how it regulates these schools and keeps them together but in real, none of these institutions follow a set pattern. There is no uniformity between them, may it be the curriculum or the pay structures for the teachers.

Fee Structure of Students

The fee structure for these schools seems almost unreal. Most of the schools showed the registers with the fee records on them and it seemed more of a diary that records charity people have given in rather fee. 100% of the school administration complained that they did not get the fee in time. Parents are poor and they try to stall the payment for as long as possible. Every single school of the 10 schools visited had students studying without a fee. The administration said that usually parents bring in all their kids to one school and negotiate the fee such that out of three children, one is striped off from the fee. There are almost an equal number of girls and boys studying in these schools but the chances of parents putting girls to work, if the fee cannot be afforded or if the fee rules are too stringent, are higher than boys. The average fee charged per month is 350 to 400 rupees per child but even this low fee is entirely negotiable. Many schools provide fee packages where if a family admits more than one child in a single school, the fee for the additional kid is reduced to 50% or more.

Curriculum Followed

These schools are very flexible in adjusting to the needs of the students and their parents. This is why their popularity is rising day by day. Regardless of the fact that a school says its English medium or Urdu medium, the teachers make sure that the children are taught according to their abilities. If a child finds it difficult to learn English, he is put to Urdu medium curriculum. This is why, in a class of say 15 children, 3-4 were seen reading from science books in English, while the rest read of Urdu science books. In a multigrade class, not only do children study in different languages under one teacher, they also study the same subject from different books.

Publishers

The publishers usually give some money to the school administration to recommend their books to the students. Because of this reason, there is competition of higher money paid to the school rather than quality book when deciding which publisher’s books to use. The school administration only gives out names of the publisher whose books the parents should buy. If a publisher is publishing two different science books at the same time, the parents choose the book of their choice; it is always the cheaper one. This disparity adversely affects the quality of education in these institutes. The teachers and the authoritative heads of the schools say our hands are tied, we cannot be strict with the parents for the fear of losing the students and the parents are a victim to poverty. However, the truth is that schools are being paid highly by the publishers to recommend their books when deciding the curriculum. In some case, the schools get free samples of books from the publisher and, unfortunately, the free samples are sold to the students at a certain price.

Registration of Schools

For getting registration done, the school owner has to fulfill a required criteria set by the authority in order to discourage those who open affordable private schools just to make money. A comprehensive form is filled before registration that requires information about the strength of students enrolled, number of classrooms, number of teachers employed etc. According to Mr Munir Nawaz, principle of Al Munir High School, the private schools that charge up to Rs 1,000 fee per month are bound to pay Rs 5,000 for registration along with an inspection fee of Rs 2,500, while Rs 2,500 is charged after every two years to renew the registration of the schools. The private schools that charge fee over Rs 1,000 fee per month are supposed to pay double for the registration, inspection and renewal services. The schools that do not fulfill the required criteria are at times registered on temporary basis with few directions to improve its standard within a specified period. The permanent registration certificate is awarded to private schools only after complete satisfaction of the authority under concern. The situation varies from one place to another. For example if someone opens a private school in a rural area with less facilities where there is no other school, then the authority might give it registration on temporary basis to save the future of children in that area. As the registration fee for primary school varies from a secondary school, most of the schools are registered as primary schools but also offer secondary education. The reason for this is that fact that lesser registration fee is charged for primary school than for secondary school. The schools that are not registered, their students apply for board exams through some other registered school. The non-registered school needs to pay a fee to the registered school for letting their students appear for board exams.

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