School Expansion in Malir
Established in 1988, the SOS Hermann Gmeiner School in Karachi educates 1390 students from pre-primary to higher secondary level in two school shifts. The school provides quality education to:
- approximately 1240 children from low-income families in the area of Malir, Karachi
- 150 orphaned and abandoned children living in SOS Children’s Village.
- The school has a 50:50 ratio of male and female students.
ADP’s grant, along with funds from other private donors, will be used to fund the construction of an expansion of SOS’s higher secondary school (grades 10-12). The higher secondary school was established in 2009 and currently provides pre-commerce, medical and engineering courses for matriculation to a class of 60 students. Unfortunately, the higher secondary school has been unable to cope with the demand for enrolment and has had to turn away many of the students from low-income families due to lack of space. This year, SOS made the decision to expand by adding a second floor to the school building to accommodate more students.
The team is excited about the project and SOS as a partner for a number of reasons:
- SOS has been running various schools across Pakistan for over 14 years; SOS Hermann Gmeiner, Karachi students have an average attendance rate of 95% and 99% of the students continue to secondary schools for higher education.
- 87% students of SOS Higher Secondary School, Karachi received 1st division in their matric examinations.
- SOS Hermann Gmeiner, Karachi is the most cost effective higher secondary school in the area with monthly fees of approximately PKR 1,450 (other schools such as The City School and Educators have average monthly fees of PKR 3,000). There are no other cost-effective schools in the area where parents can send their children.
- The school is self-sustaining; all expenditures for day to day operations are met through school fee payments from students. Only special projects such as new water coolers, playground and swings, painting of school building are funded through charitable donations.
- 97% of the teachers have a BA/Bsc or higher. All teachers also receive training through Aga Khan Institute of Educational Development (IED) and other seminars throughout the year.
- SOS has a strong relationship with the community. Parents are involved in sporting and cultural activities (dramas, stage shows, art & science fairs) and regular PTA meetings are held.
Your donations will cover
The ADP grant will partially finance the addition of a second floor to the school building. This will include:
- 14 classrooms (Pre-engineering, pre-med and commerce)
- 4 Staff & Administrative rooms
- 1 Library
- 1 Common Room
- 1 Kitchen & 1 Main Store
- 1 IT lab
- 3 Science labs
The funds from ADP will partially cover the cost of construction materials (56% of ADP grant), labour (38% of ADP grant) and related architect fees and expenditures (6% of ADP grant).
With the addition of the second floor, 300 additional students will be able to enroll in the higher secondary school each year. This is a 5x increase in SOS’s current student enrolment and there is more than enough demand from the community to fill this proposed capacity. The school aims to provide high quality education at an affordable price to the population of Malir, Karachi. The school charges approximately Rs. 1,100 per student per month in fees, which covers the actual operating costs of the school. Along with quality education, the school also encourages extracurricular activities and has great infrastructure and sports facilities to that end.
SOS Children’s Villages of Pakistan is affiliated with SOS-Kinderdorf International, the umbrella organization based in Innsbruck, Austria. SOS Children’s Village of Pakistan has been serving the underprivileged children in all four provinces of Pakistan for the last 37 years as a non-profit organization dedicated to the care of orphans and abandoned children. In addition, they have been providing quality education; vocational training and health care services to not only to SOS children but also to the lower socio-economic group in surrounding communities. SOS is a growing organization; they have eight schools in different cities. After the expansion of this school they plan to build a similar facility in Jamshoro and in Khairpur villages over the next five years.
Critical need: Expansion of the school will cater to the demand for higher education from children in low-income families in Malir and surrounding areas. Currently, children from such families either drop out or go to schools with lower education standards. This is because (i) there are not many schools in the area and (ii) the schools that are present in the area are too expensive.
Beneficiaries/Social Return: 300 children will be able to attend higher secondary school, representing a 5x increase in the school’s enrolment. The project cost per student is PKR 6,720; it is important to note that this is only for the first year of the project. Each year, 300 students will be able to attend the school, reducing the project cost per beneficiary over time. The team aims to measure the social return/impact through semi-annual (Year 1) and annual (Year 2-3) reports submitted by SOS. These reports will track the following metrics:
- # Students by class and gender
- # Teachers by gender
- # Teachers who have completed training
- # Hours of teacher training per quarter/year
- Student attendance rate (%)
- Teacher attendance rate (%)
- % Matric students in prior year achieving 1st division
- Average tuition fees + additional charges
- % Students enrolled on scholarship by category [100%, 75%, 50%, 25%, 0%]
- Per pupil expenditure incurred by the Grantee
The team expects that the above metrics will be maintained and/or improved after the expansion of the school.
Longevity: The SOS school model is financially sustainable; day-to-day expenses are all funded through the tuition fee payments. The team expects that the school will remain self-sustaining even after the expansion and aims to measure and track this via submission of annual audited accounts by SOS.
Scalability: SOS has 8 schools across Pakistan already and has been able to expand well. The higher secondary school model can easily be replicated and expanded in the future if demand increases. In the meantime, SOS plans to build similar schools in the villages of Jamshoro and Khairpur in the next five years.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How do parents and students feel about this higher secondary school compared to other ones in the area?
Many of the students are primarily from lower or lower middle class households, including the adjoining SOS village. Their parents are generally engaged in the activities of the school through Parent-Teacher meetings and other sporting and cultural activities at the school (dramas, stage shows, science fair etc). The parents have said that it would make things easier for them to have their kids go to one school all the way up to 12th class without switching. They expressed a need for higher capacity to accommodate more students from their own families or their neighbourhoods. They also found SOS to be a cost-effective school compared to other schools in the area. They cited the better infrastructure, proximity, sports facilities and education standard as their primary reasons for sending their kids here.
Q2. How sustainable is the school?
The school is well managed and has been able to break even each year through admission fee and tuition revenue. While expenditures will rise after the expansion, SOS is confident that the revenues generated from the new admission will be sufficient. In case it needs additional support, SOS will be able to draw on its extensive donor base and patrons to support it as it becomes sustainable.
Q3. Is SOS a suitable partner for this project?
The school is part of the the SOS Children’s Villages of Pakistan, affiliated with SOS Kinderdorf International, and has experience serving the underprivileged children in all four provinces for the last 37 years. They have been providing quality education to not only the children in the SOS villages (who are primarily orphans and abandoned children), but also other children from the lower socio-economic groups in our community. The school under proposed expansion has been operational for more than 12 years with a sound organisational and administrative structure, with board meetings taking place quarterly.
Further ResourcesSOS Karachi’s YouTube Page https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4oiF3KNXreixUHn2NNYprg
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