Other PPPs in school education

EducationWorld July 14 | Education World

PUBLIC-PRIVATE partnerships (PPPs) in school ” especially primary ” education became fashionable in the new millennium after representatives of 189 countries worldwide signed the Millennium Declaration of the United Nations in New York in the year 2000.  One of the Millennium Development Goals which topped the declaration was œall children in primary school and learning, by the year 2015.
Back home in India, initial enthusiasm for PPPs abated after it became clear that for the education ministries and bureaucracies, PPPs meant relationships in which education entrepreneurs, NGOs and philanthropists are expected to pour money into government schemes and ask no questions, while establishment bureaucrats carried on business as usual which includes routine skimming off cuts and commissions. The charms of the charter school model under which governments outsource schools to private educators or NGOs, transferring the expenditure incurred per school and per student ” currently 800 charter schools with an aggregate enrolment of 100,000 students are operational in the US ” with government ensuring they function as per the ˜charter™ or agreement, seems to have no appeal for state governments.
Nevertheless, due to the determined efforts of a few dedicated educators and NGOs, some less than equal PPPs ” essentially philanthropic initiatives rather than equal and self-sustaining partnerships ” are flourishing in pockets across the country. Edited and abbreviated reports outlining the activities of two PPP initiatives in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra ” filed by EducationWorld correspondents in Mumbai and Chennai ” are presented below.
JK Foundation, Chennai
PROMOTED BY J. JAYAKRISHNAN, founder and managing director of the Chennai-based J.K. Group which comprises E5 Properties Pvt. Ltd, J.K. Properties & Consultancy, Karyakarpa Organic Farms, and E5 Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, the J.K. Foundation (JKF, estb. 2012) is the philanthropic arm of the J.K. Group. For ten years before the foundation was registered Jayakrishnan sponsored the education of poor children and supported elderly citizens in old age homes. However, since 2012, JKF has shifted focus to aiding government, municipal and panchayat schools in the educationally backward districts of Tamil Nadu under the PPP model. Thus far JKF has signed PPP agreements with 92 government and local administration schools benefiting over 6,000 students statewide.
History. In 2008 the Tamil Nadu government initiated a School Improvement Scheme under which NGOs, trusts and individuals were invited to sign agreements with the state and local governments to ˜adopt™ government schools to scale up their infrastructure and improve teaching-learning standards. In the academic year 2012-13, JKF adopted 20 government schools in the backward district of Vizhupuram where less than 50 percent of students passed the state board class XII school-leaving exam. The adopted schools were upgraded with improved infrastructure and toilet facilities, 88 graduate teachers were appointed, and healthy meals provided to students in addition to remedial education and in-service teacher training.
Direct speech. œThis intervention has proved very successful. In 2012-13 the pass percentage of class XII students in the adopted schools ranged from 60-90 percent. Moreover, three students of adopted schools were top-ranked statewide in the class X exam, says J. Jayakrishnan, promoter-managing director of the J.K. Group and the J.K. Foundation, who experienced extreme poverty and education deprivation during his childhood in Vizhupuram.
Enthused by the foundation™s first PPP experience in education, last year JKF signed an additional agreement with the Tamil Nadu government to adopt classes X and XII of another 32 public schools in Vizhupuram, and 20 schools in the Thiruvanamallai and Vellore districts. œWe are very pleased with the PPP agreements we have signed with the state and local governments in Tamil Nadu. The pass percentage of class XII students in all three districts has risen to over 85 percent. We have received full cooperation from officials of the education ministry who have helped us to select teachers and organise remedial classes for students and in-service programmes for teachers, says Jayakrishnan.
Future plans. Jayakrishnan is set to adopt more government schools and raise their teaching-learning standards on a par with the best private schools. œI always encourage my business partners and associates to follow the JKF example and adopt government schools to improve the quality of human resources available to industry and business which is in our interest, says Jayakrishnan.
Wind beneath your wings!
Akanksha, Mumbai
THE AKANKAHA FOUNDATION (estb. 1991) is an NGO promoted to provide high quality education to children from low-income communities, enabling them to maximise their potential and transform their lives. Currently the foundation works closely with 15 municipal schools in Mumbai and Pune which have an aggregate enrolment of 4,086 students. Under  agreements with the municipal corporations of the two cities, Akanksha designs the schools™ curriculums, monitors learning outcomes and appoints chosen teachers against vacancies.
History. Appalled by the poor infrastructure and conditions of government schools in Mumbai, in 1991 Shaheen Mistri, who had attended schools in Greece, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and the US before graduating from St. Xavier™s College, Mumbai and Manchester University, promoted the first Akanksha learning centre in Mumbai to provide remedial and supplementary education to 15 street children.
Today the Akanksha Foundation has established 15 learning centres in Mumbai and Pune and is directly involved with 15 municipal schools in the two cities through The School Project (TSP) whose objective is to lift teaching-learning standards and improve students™ learning outcomes.
Moreover in 2007, Mistri started the Teach for India project under which the foundation selects top-ranked college and university graduates for two-year teaching assignments in government schools.
Direct talk. œOver the past seven years since it was established, The School Project has recorded impressive results. Today 97 percent students complete primary education and daily attendance averages 91 percent, with parents engaged in a meaningful way with their children™s education. Moreover, all students in our first two batches passed the class X SSC board exam, with 77 percent achieving first class or distinction, far surpassing the results of other government schools in Maharashtra, says Vandana Goyal, an alumna of Claremont McKeana College, USA  who signed up with Akanksha Foundation in 2006 and was appointed CEO in 2010.
Future plans. With Akanksha Foundation having learned the ropes of working with government and education officials to œensure proactive and timely policy development and implementation as also ways and means to involve private donors and philanthropists with the foundation™s processes and projects, Goyal and her team is set to rollout TSP in a big way in other cities in Maharashtra in cooperation with municipal governments.
œWe have set ourselves the goal of implementing TSP in 100 schools in at least four cities by 2022. I believe there™s a new awareness within the Central and state governments about the need to work with NGOs and private education providers to elevate teaching-learning standards in public schools, says Goyal.
Fair winds!

Online Cover Feature
Online Cover Feature
EW Videos

News from PR Newswire

WordPress Lightbox Plugin