Q. What is the relationship between TCF (Pakistan) and TCF-UK?
TCF (Pakistan) is registered as a non-profit organisation in Pakistan whereas TCF-UK is a UK incorporated and registered charity as of 2001 (England & Wales: 1087864). TCF-UK has its own independent by laws and Trustees. Donations received by TCF-UK are used to support the work of TCF (Pakistan).
Q. What is the source of funding for TCF?
Most of the funding for TCF programmes (50%) is received from individual donors, corporations and foundations in Pakistan. TCF also receives donations from thousands of individuals all over the world – Pakistani expatriates and generous non-Pakistani supporters (individual and foundation donors) in the UK, the USA, UAE, Canada and other countries. Independent organisations such as TCF-UK assist with outreach and fundraising for TCF programmes and raise funds for the construction and on-going support of TCF schools, contributing approximately 10% of TCF Pakistan’s total budget. Funds are raised from generous individuals, corporates, matched giving schemes, events and Trusts and Foundations. Our media coverage includes The Times, The FT, Guardian, New Statesman and the BBC.
Q. Is it safe for me to donate to TCF-UK? How can I be sure my donation is going to the right place?
TCF-UK was incorporated and registered as a charity in 2001 (England & Wales: 1087864) and its accounts are audited annually and submitted to Companies House (Company number: 4075959). Our financials are also available on the website. TCF has an open-door policy and encourages potential donors to visit our schools in Pakistan to see first-hand the work we are doing. Our Trustees are also drawn from a variety of professional and business backgrounds and are appointed on an entirely voluntary basis.
Q. What portion of my donation goes towards education programmes?
Approximately 90% of every donation goes towards education programmes in Pakistan. A small portion of the donation is spent on administration, marketing and fundraising expenses. TCF-UK is a very efficient fundraising charity with administrative expenses kept to a minimum.
Q. Where are the schools located and what is the geographical distribution of TCF schools?
Our schools are located in urban slums and low-income rural areas of Pakistan, where people neither have the means nor the access to quality education. This table shows the geographical distribution of the schools by region:
% of Schools
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (former NWFP)
Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK)
Total TCF School Units, April 2015
Q. What are the admissions criteria for children at TCF schools?
Any child of appropriate school age is eligible for admission to TCF schools. There are no financial, ethnic or other criteria. The school principal meets with the family to determine how much tuition fee can be comfortably paid, based on the family income and number of persons in the household.
The primary criterion is need: the aim is to provide quality education to children who would otherwise grow up without any education. The schools are established in communities where either:
no schools exist,
there aren’t enough schools or,
the schools are not affordable
Q. Are TCF schools free? Does TCF charge for tuition, books and uniforms?
TCF asks each family to pay what they can afford, based on family income and number of persons in the household. The school principal meets with the family to determine how much tuition fee can be comfortably paid. Paying a nominal amount gives the family a sense of pride and ownership in the school and the child’s education. Tuition Fees: TCF charges a nominal monthly tuition fee on a sliding scale, between Rs. 10 to Rs. 250 per month (approx. 7 pence to £1.60 per month). Uniforms and Books: Families are offered easy payment terms for uniforms and books. Those who cannot afford to pay, get uniforms and books at no cost. Actual Cost of Education: The actual cost of education is slightly over £6/month for each child, or £72 per year. The tuition fees collected from families is only 5% of the actual costs. The 95% “deficit” is made up by donor contributions.
Q. What is the hiring process and required qualifications for teachers?
Teachers are selected strictly on merit. The job openings are advertised in local newspapers and qualified applicants are invited for a personal interview. The interview is conducted by a panel and the selected candidates receive a formal appointment letter.
At the primary school level, the minimum qualification is matriculation (GCSE equivalent). Please note, this is the minimum and TCF has many primary school teachers with a Bachelor and Master’s degrees. All secondary school teachers, all school Principals and all English language teachers must have at least a baccalaureate degree.
Q. What is the extent of teacher training, both pre-service and annual professional development?
TCF provides 120 hours of pre-service training to all teachers before they start in the classrooms. Additionally, all TCF teachers receive 80 hours of in-service professional development every year. There are 2 main teacher training centers, one in Karachi, Sindh and the other in Mansehra, KPK. Master Trainers coordinate the regional training programmes from these 2 centers. Most of the teacher training is conducted at selected schools which serve as regional training centers, or ‘hub schools’. The idea is to bring the training close to the teachers, rather than putting the burden of travel on them.
Q. How is the curriculum designed?
Using the government prescribed national curriculum as the basic minimum, in-house professional educators at TCF modify and enhance the curriculum to meet the demands of modern day education. Activities such as debates, essay writing contests, art, poetry and sports competitions are included in the curriculum to help develop well-rounded and confident students.