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Arshad Public School (azad Kashmir)
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M. Sajjad Haider



Joined: 23 Apr 2005
Last Visit: 18 Jul 2008
Posts: 55
Location: Pakistan
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 4:42 am    Post subject: Arshad Public School (Azad Kashmir) Reply with quote

ADP Lahore recieved an earthquake related project. The project is for the construction of a public school in Muslundy, Muzaffarabad. The details of the project, budget, Q&A and Project Summary form are attached. The project has been passed through Phase 1 of the evaluation process.

This is an earthquake project and hence should be evaluated by all ADP chapters
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Tarim Wasim



Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Last Visit: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 160
Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Natasha/Sajjad,

This could be a great project for the EQ redevelopmnt fund. The question is entirely around credibility. If one of the NGOs that works in the area can vouch for this guy and take responsibility for monitoring the use of the funds, we should take a very serious look. We could either tell him to pursue that angle and say that's a requirement for ADP to consider funding, or we can appeoach folks like SUNGI or EHD directly to float the idea.

I'd also want to understand the financial model of the school. Was it breaking even before the earthquake? I assume that this is not a for-profit enterprise for Basharat?

Keep us posted!

-Tarim
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M. Sajjad Haider



Joined: 23 Apr 2005
Last Visit: 18 Jul 2008
Posts: 55
Location: Pakistan
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Project Champion for this project is Natasha Qureshi.

We have done initial evaliations of the project and find it very satisfactory. We still do have some questions regarding the financial aspects of the projet but as far as credibility two respectable sources have verified the school management as credible.

If anyone has any questions kindly post them by the 20th Sunday, after which we will move towards voting on it.

Natasha will soon be posting questions that we already have in mind.
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Natasha Qureshi



Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Last Visit: 30 Jan 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Ithaca, NY
PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of the preliminary questions that we had in mind were regarding the actual construction of the school. The cost estimates that Basharat Awan (principal) provided were vague and were estimated on a room to room basis rather than on a per square foot basis. After asking the principal for further details he then contacted a contractor who give him a rough estimate of the school plan. The information that he provided was as follows:

Cost= Approx PKR 1000/sq foot
Total Area= Approx 2400 sq feet

He also revised the school plan and cut the number of classrooms to decrease the estimate:

4 Classrooms (12 X 12 feet) - PREVIOUSLY 8
1 Hall (22 X 18 feet)
2 Staffrooms (10 X 12 feet)
1 Principal Office (10 X 10 feet)
3 bathrooms

Following are the list of questions and comments that we have:
1) The total square foot area does not equal or near 2400sq feet, it is more in the range of 1500 sq feet.
2) Instead of building one hall just for the purpose of examinations, they should have multiple classrooms which would be much more useful for the students (this i discussed with the principal and he agreed to it)
3) Since there are only 13 teachers currently it will be wasteful to provide 2 staffrooms and a principal's office, we need to discuss this with the principal in more detail so instead of office space we can add more classrooms.
4) We also want to discuss the use that computers would have in the school to determine if they are necessary or not
5) Discuss the furniture requirements since the number of desks and chairs in the budget does not make sense to us

The principal is interested in coming to Lahore with the architectural plans, pictures of the school and other such documents in a few days. Do post ANY questions or issues that you think we should discuss with him other than the ones listed above.

We are also looking at ideas on how we can monitor the construction of the school so ideas on that will also be appreciated!
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Omar Biabani



Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Last Visit: 06 Jan 2008
Posts: 93
Location: Boston, MA
PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Natasha,

You guys have done a great job in pulling all the info on this project. Some of the things I would like to better understand are

Credibility:

1) Can we get pictures of previous school? It has been up and running since 1997 so we should be able to see what the school looked like.

I am not doubting their word or your judgement but am thinking on another line. If we could get before and after pictures of the school, it will be a very powerful way of raising funds for this school through our website.

Infrastructure:

1) Who owns the land where the school will be built?
2) What is the state of other schools in Muslundy (if there are any?)


Running Cost:

1) How do the teachers get paid? What was and what will be the fee structure of the school?

Curriculum:

1) I know we are provided with school registration number, Is this school following the govt. curriculum or something of its own? (There are a few Islamic books included in reference section which made me ask this question?)


If this project satisfys our concerns then it will be a unique one where we would fund an individual as opposed to an NGO.
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Tarim Wasim



Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Last Visit: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 160
Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Natasha,

I'm interested in making sure that we have thought through any challenges post-construction. Things I'd want to know are:

- How good was the school before the earthquake. Were parents happy, was it economically viable?
- Are parents asking for the school to be rebuilt, or is there any reason the kids will not come back (families have left the area, kids enrolled in other schools etc)?
- What is the planned operating budget? Is funding available to get it to self-sustainability? We should look at metrics such as # of students, fee per student, cost per student etc.

I am quite excited about this project. If we can get comfortable with the evaluation questions, it could be a very worthwhile use of our donations. Given the amounts involved though, we need to be convinced that the funding is tracked and will result in a viable, quality school.

As for suggestions around monitoring the use of funds, I think it will be challenging. One thing we should definitely do is give money in several phases based on the achievement of construction milestones. At the minimum, we should try to have an ADP volunteer visit the site at least twice during construction to monitor progress. If you guys can't make it at all, we should send a request on the ADP Network to solicit volunteers in the northern areas who could visit the site, though obviously we can't trust them blindly. With pictures and receipts, we could get some comfort. I would say that if we get to the stage where we believe all the other concerns have been answered, we should line up someone to monitor before taking a vote since that will be key.

Great work, and best of luck.

Tarim
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Natasha Qureshi



Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Last Visit: 30 Jan 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Ithaca, NY
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Following are the answers to all the questions asked:

1) Can we get pictures of previous school? It has been up and running since 1997 so we should be able to see what the school looked like.
There were no pictures of the school taken before the earthquake. There were pictures taken of the rubble after the earthquake, these can be mailed to us but they won’t give us much of an idea of how the school looked before the earthquake.

2) Who owns the land where the school will be built?
The school is owned by the principal himself. After he completed his FA (Grade 12th) in 1997 his brother, a dentist, bought the land for him and helped him to establish a school on it. He did not get any help from the government or any NGO for the construction of the school.

3) What is the state of other schools in Muslandy (if there are any?)
There is one other school in Muslandy. It is a government primary school, therefore it only teaches up to class 5. Arshad Public School is up till grade 8th.

4) How do the teachers get paid? What was and what will be the fee structure of the school?
The teachers get paid from the school fees that the students are charged. The students pay PKR 100 per month. They have to buy uniforms, stationary and books themselves. The teachers have slightly higher salaries, compared to other school teachers, as they travel a long distance to teach in this school.
The first four months after the earthquake the school was being run for free as part of relief efforts and no fees were being charged from the students. Now students are again required to pay PKR 100 per month. But there are students who have become orphans or simply can not afford to pay the school fees and they are taught for free. There are around 25% children who are taught for free.

5) I know we are provided with school registration number, Is this school following the govt. curriculum or something of its own? (There are a few Islamic books included in reference section which made me ask this question?)
The school is registered with the government, and it renews its registration every year as per the government policies. The school follows the federal board syllabus for classes 5 to 8. The books taught in the primary school do not follow any syllabus but are the ones that are taught in other schools around the region.

6) How good was the school before the earthquake? Were parents happy, was it economically viable?
The school was economically stable and profitable before the earthquake. These profits were utilized during the first four months after the earthquake when the school was being run as part of relief efforts. Parents were happy with the school. Also, this is the only middle school in the region.

7) Are parents asking for the school to be rebuilt, or is there any reason the kids will not come back (families have left the area, kids enrolled in other schools etc)?
Many People had left Muslandy in the winters and had moved to relief camps. But two months ago ERA started constructing shelters and houses in Neelum Valley. Most people have now come back and there is an even greater demand for the school. The school has enrolled 38 new students this year. Therefore, there are about 340 students in the school this year.

Cool What is the planned operating budget? Is funding available to get it to self-sustainability? We should look at metrics such as # of students, fee per student, cost per student etc.
The school is currently operational (in tents). The school is not meeting its operational costs since revenues have decreased because fees have been waived for many students. But now as the student strength is increasing due to increasing enrollment the cost per student will go down.
Total number of students = 340
Fee per student = PKR 100
Cost per student > PKR 100 (I have to get the exact amount)

Construction Details:

Walls will be made from stone and cement
The roof will be constructed using Justi (Steel) sheets

If there are any leading questions do let us know, otherwise we would like to move on to the next phase of the project, if everyone is satisfied
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Khurram Jamali



Joined: 12 Jun 2005
Last Visit: 10 Oct 2011
Posts: 78
Location: Beijing, China
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This might be asking for too much information, but one could ask for a break down of the fixed and variables costs.

Once we know the fixed costs and variable costs, we can figure out at what number of students would the school break even. If that number seems to be a sustainable figure, then great...if not, then we have to figure out how we may be able to.
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Tarim Wasim



Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Last Visit: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 160
Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Natasha,

Thank you for gathering all this information. Very helpful. I like this project, but do feel like we should have a view on the two key issues of

1) How much external funding the school will need to raise after construction to pay for operating losses (shortfall of student fees over running costs) and how they plan to raise this money, and

2) How we are going to monitor progress, ensure transparency and stage the funding

Could you please let us know where the Lahore chapter has come out on these?

Thanks,
Tarim
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Tarim Wasim



Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Last Visit: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 160
Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Natasha,

Any update on this project? Have we decided not to pursue it?

-Tarim
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Natasha Qureshi



Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Last Visit: 30 Jan 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Ithaca, NY
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was able to get the cost and revenue breakdowns for the school. Please download the attachment to go over them. It also has details on how we plan to ensure transparency during the execution of the project.
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Tarim Wasim



Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Last Visit: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 160
Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am quite comfortable with this, especially if Lahore chapter members will be able to track progress and make in-person visits. Natasha, could you set up a vote for this (similar to Mahjabeen's EQ vote)? Let's give volunteers a week to have their votes in.

Great work.

-Tarim
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Mahjabeen Quadri
Site Admin


Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 22 Nov 2007
Posts: 49
Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2007 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Posting recent updates from another thread....

As most people know, we ended up delaying the vote on Arshad Public School due to concerns around the legal status of the building constructed with our funds. Since this is not an NGO, and the owner (Basharat) owns the land, there were two risks:

1) Basharat could sell the donated building later at a profit
2) He could make a personal profit off the ongoing operations of the school.

After some deliberation, we decided to explore legal solutions to could give us protection. My father and a a lawyer talked to Basharat a few days ago, and it appears that he is willing to put the school into a Trust that prevents him from selling the building or making an ongoing profit without our authorization. The Trust agreement will be registered in a local court, and we will need to have an ADP representative sign the agreement in person. My father is willing to make the trip up to Muzaffarabad to complete the arrangements if we decide to fund this project. The primary to do's for us are as follows:

1) Spell out the conditions of our funding
2) Vote on the project assuming Basharat will agree to those conditions
3) Issue an authority letter in someone's name to sign the agreement on ADP's behalf. As I said, my father is willing to do this if we want.

Natasha, could you please work with Sajjad, Usman and Mubarik to propose a set of conditions that we should place including 1) ongoing income formula for Basharat, 2) what happens if he wants to sell (does he need our consent, what does he need to pay us), 3) milestones on which we will fund, and 4) a reporting and monitoring plan. I think we should then put this one officially to vote. It would be good to have a decision soon given the recent momentum with Basharat.

Good work everyone. This project demonstrates not only how seriously we take our responsibility to donors at ADP, but that we are also willing to work hard to find ways to support deserving projects.

Best,
Tarim

ps: This link has a picture of a tent in which Arshad Public School is currently being run: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jishnu/96064390/


ps: I've pasted the correspondence from my father below.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: wasim ahmad <wasim876@yahoo.com>
Date: Apr 20, 2007 6:19 AM
Subject: Re: Any luck talking to Basharat?
To: Tarim Wasim <twasim@gmail.com>

dear Tarim.
Here's the follow up up on the Muzaffarabad
school.had a talk with Basharat about two hours ago.He
has offered to come over to Islamabad to show me the
ownership papers of his land. I have asked him to also
give some thought to whatever his own demands are so
that we can study them and discuss in the light of the
conditions the ADP wants to put. In short, a
roughdraft of the agreement should emerge after my
meeting with him on Sunday.
Basharat is holding the annual 'parents' day' of
his school on the 2nd of May and wants me to visit the
school on that occasion.I haven't yet decided whether
that would be a suitable time to visit. If I do go
then I would verify the veracity of his ownership
document from the local 'patwari's' register myself.
This is to ensure that the 'patwari' has not issued a
fake certificate ( it is called 'ferd'). That done;
the ownership will be established. ADP can then enter
into the agreement.
The agreement also can be finalised on the 2nd if the
ADP mind is made up.
If you need more time then i shall not accept
Basharat's invitation for the 2nd of May and set
another date.
What the ADP needs to do now is;
a. To spell out the conditions of the
donation.
b. To decide on the mode of payment.
c. Issue an authority letter in my name to
make this agreement on their behalf.

Your terms and conditions are needed before we
can finalise a draft agreement. You can then delibrate
on the draft.We shall register it only after your
approval.

Wasim

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: wasim ahmad <wasim876@yahoo.com>
Date: Apr 19, 2007 12:56 PM
Subject: Re: Any luck talking to Basharat?
To: Tarim Wasim <twasim@gmail.com>

I talked to Basharat today. He is willing to
declare his land a trust for a charitable school on
the condition that the ownership of the property
remains with him and his heirs. This is possible
according to the law.The agreement he makes with the
ADP would state all the terms and conditions the ADP
wants him to accept. He would, however, like to get
some part of the income for his own sustenance. The
agreement would specify that part of the income
too.You can decide whether it would be a percentage of
the income or a fixed amount.
I had indicated to Basharat that i would visit
Muzaffarabad in the next 4-5 days alongwith Cdr Sharif
to see the present school, the proposed land for it
and the ownership documents. He was happy to arrange
all that. But on subsequent discussion with Cdr Sharif
we came to the conclusion that a visit at this stage
is not necessary. Basharat can send the copies of
ownership documents by post for us to examine here. We
will then have to make a trip to Muzaffarabad for the
signing and registration of the 'TRUST" agreement.
I tried calling Basharat again in the evening but
contact could not be established. Would inform him
tomorrow morning about our decision. After having
ascertained the ownership of the land we shall draft
the agreement and have it agreed upon by Bsharat.
Then it will be a one day trip to Muzaffarabad for the
rest of the job.
The ADP will be a party to the agreement and i can
represent the ADP on the strength of an appointment
letter from ADP head office. So, now you need to
decide what terms and conditions you want to impose on
Basharat and send me an appointment letter. Also think
out the method of payment i.e lump sum or
installments. I suggest the latter based on the
building stages of the school.
Let me know how the ADP wants to handle this
project.

Wasim
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Natasha Qureshi



Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Last Visit: 30 Jan 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Ithaca, NY
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The terms for funding that Basharat Awan has agreed upon are as follows:

Administration of school / Selling of land:
1. Declaring the school a charitable trust to be run by himself and his legal heirs.
2. A board of trustees comprising three trustees including himself and one noble of Muzaffarabad. The third trustee would be a nominee of ADP. Basharat would be the managing trustee.
3. Basharat Awan or any of his family members or heirs that may possess the ownership of the school property in Muslandy can not sell this property without the consent of ADP
4. If the selling of this property becomes unavoidable and ADP consents to it then Basharat Awan will be liable to pay ADP the amount donated for the school building, adjusted after depreciation
5. ADP will deposit the entire returned loan amount in to its general fund and will use it to fund other projects


Income formula:

1. Basharat Awan will be paid a monthly income whose maximum amount will be equal to PKR 20,000 + A yearly increase of about 10%
2. This monthly income will come from the profits that the school will make from the fees paid by the school going children
3. Any surplus profits of the school will be plied back into the school to award fee concession/scholarships to poorer students and for any improvements in the school with the approval of the board of trustees
4. This income formula can be discussed and changed as and when required by either party. To bring the new income formula in to effect a revised draft of the contract needs to be signed mentioning the effective date

Process for Funding:

1. The funding schedule will be worked out after finalising a building plan and selecting a building contractor.
2. Monthly building progress will be reported through pictures or site visits by ADP rep.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A few questions were also raised by ADP volunteers and the answers to them are as follows:

Can Basharat send monthly pix of the school so we can judge the progress in contruction: Yes he will do so

Pictures of school pre-EQ: all were lost during EQ. some school children may have them and he will find out

What was his pre-EQ salary? between 18K - 20K

What rate did his salary increase at? After the initial jump it increased at a rate of about 10% per annum i.e. between Rs.1800-2000

How many additional students will be joining the school in the next academic year? Around 18 joined this yr. If construction of building takes place then this number can probably treble in the coming year.

What percentage of students are currently taught for free? How long does he anticipate not to charge these students any fees? 3 out of the new 18 are taught for free and between 20-25% are taught for free from the other 300 students. If the school starts doing well then Basharat can increase the number of students that he is teaching for free and use the additional profits for that.

Additionally, Sajjad has said that he can possibly make a site visit in June or he can ask some friends to do so who travel frequently to the north. I can also make site visits (given I am able to travel alone to the northern areas) before August.

The contractor has said that the construction of the bulding would take about 3 months. He will take an advance deposit equivalent to 50% of the total costs to buy raw materials and pay for labour. The rest of the 50% will be taken when the building is completed. The contractor will charge Rs1000/sq foot for construction.
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Khurram Jamali



Joined: 12 Jun 2005
Last Visit: 10 Oct 2011
Posts: 78
Location: Beijing, China
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not too comfortable with subtracting depreciation from ADP's investment. Depreciation is a vague term and could mean that ADP's investment in the project goes to PKR 0 in 5 years (if depreciation is 20%).

Furthermore, after construction is completed on the land, the land value will appreciate, i.e., if he decides to sell he will be selling for more. Does ADP get a proportion of that increase?

I dont know if this is possible, but if we can get an independent auditor to estimate the fair value of the land with and without the construction, and agree that an independent auditor will do the same if and when Basharat decides to sell the land, we can then precisely estimate the proportional value addition due to ADP's investment in the school, and make sure that any additionally accumulated value due to ADP's investment is returned to ADP rather than to Basharat. In this case, depreciation will not be an issue at all. Over time, if Basharat invests more into the infrastructure, ADP's portion of value appreciation will continue to decrease, and we might even get less than what we put in. But we shouldn't definitively settle on taking the amount we are investing minus deprecation. At least that is the way I feel.

Maybe this is not being fair to Basharat, because usually we never recoup what we have put in, and expect the benefits to be realized by society, thought the NGO. But in this case, private ownership makes it tricky...and we should be careful that our investment appreciation does not benefit I private entrepreneur, but benefits either society, or comes back to us in order to benefit society.

Best,

Khurram
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