The Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) has assured its partner schools that it will release their payments in the coming month – August, after the partner schools were getting restless over delays in payments.
According to the announcement, PEF announced that it had decided to release partner payments during the second week of August, 2019. It further said Foundation Assisted Schools (FAS) partners would be paid up till the month of June, whereas the Education Voucher Scheme (EVS) partners would be paid for the month of June.
PEF further clarified that the delays were due to not receiving money from the Punjab government. However, it said that it was hopeful to get the funds from the Punjab government before August 10, 2019. Furthermore, it said that irrespective of the receipt of funds by the Punjab government, PEF management had decided to release partner payments as per the aforementioned schedule.
The partner schools had been up in arms against the PEF management and claimed to not have received their payments for the past few months and delays had become a new normal. Other complaints by partner schools included not paying for the newly-admitted children during the current academic year and PEF’s reluctance to acknowledge these children under its programmes, not increasing payments, not paying partners during summer vacations, undue fines as well as flawed quality assessment mechanism.
When the new government took charge in Punjab, it took a hard line on the flagship projects of the previous government namely, Daanish and PEF schooling projects. Though after criticism from many quarters, the PTI government took a step back.
However, PEF saw cuts in its funding for the first budget presented by the PTI government in Punjab. In the budget of fiscal year 2018-19, PEF was allocated Rs 12.4 billion, down from Rs 16 billion in the previous year.
Though the latest budgetary figures showed an increase in the allocation for PEF with Rs 19.5 billion allocated to it in the fiscal year 2019-20. Still partner schools have not seen any increase financially, a long-standing demand of partner schools under different programmes of PEF.