Schools & Clinics Support Program
PARCO’s cross country pipeline network and the Mid-Country Refinery makes us next-door neighbor to many remote and underprivileged communities. Since 2007, PARCO conducts an extensive Schools and Clinics Support Program which aims at improving the education and health infrastructure in adjoining communities by supporting Rural Health Centers, Basic Health Units, Primary, Middle and Secondary Schools, being run by Government of Pakistan.
Under this program, PARCO has provided assistance in kind to around 110 Government institutions with 89 schools and 21 clinics along the pipeline, close to the stations and Mid-Country Refinery. More than 42,000 children are receiving education in PARCO supported schools. PARCO`s assistance to these institutions has raised communities` interest to enroll their children in these refurbished and well-maintained schools diverting them from child labor to primary education, raising the literacy rate.
These institutions have been provided assistance in the form of developing infrastructure and procurement of equipment to help them sustain their operations of providing basic education and health facilities to the communities. On the civil works side, the range of assistance includes construction of classrooms, boundary walls, proper sanitation facilities, underground & overhead water tanks; repair, maintenance and refurbishment of existing facilities, electrification, access to clean drinking water, etc. The institutions are also provided furniture items, water coolers, air-conditioners, deep freezers, fans, medical equipment, medicines etc.
The program is an ongoing initiative during which more government schools and clinics are being identified and previous ones revisited. We want to assure communities that PARCO is there for help when they need it most. The feedback received from the recipient communities has been overwhelming. PARCO’s CSR program has given life to the communities in scores of remote villages.
Partnering with The Citizens Foundation (TCF)
PARCO has built and supported three schools with The Citizens Foundation (TCF) – a reputable NGO working in the area of imparting quality education – at Karachi and Qasba Gujrat, near PARCO Mid-Country Refinery. These schools employ all female staff belonging to the nearby communities. These campuses have generated employment for the local women to earn a decent living.
Amongst the above mentioned three campuses, the PARCO–TCF Campus I at Karachi and Campus II at Qasba Gujrat offers education till Grade V and are operating at full capacity. The PARCO-TCF Campus I at Karachi operates morning and afternoon shifts. During August 2012, the Company extended academic block of PARCO-TCF Primary Campus II to accommodate 180 students in addition to already existing 180 students at a cost of Rs 5.7 million.
PARCO has built a third campus, a secondary school in Qasba Gujrat which commenced classes in April 2011. The total cost of the project was Rs 21 million with an additional cost of Rs. 2.1 million for operational expenses. All PARCO-TCF campuses are built in under-privileged communities and impart quality education to around 939 children.
In the realm of addressing various issues of communities, PARCO CSR Team came across the schools need for training teachers. In order to undertake the project meticulously, PARCO partnered with Teachers Resource Center (TRC) – a non-profit, non-government organization committed to improving and reforming the declining standards of education in Pakistan. Since 1986, TRC has been involved in teachers training and introducing Early Childhood Education (ECE) in Pakistan.
The trainers from the TRC conducted various sessions in PARCO supported schools at all locations on topics, such as “how children learn”, “planning effective lessons”, etc. The teachers who attended the sessions were enthusiastic during group activities and shared their point of views on various areas on child development. The training also addressed several difficulties that these teachers came across in their day to day teaching. The contents of the training addressed many areas like how to make the classroom learning even more interesting, managing and assessing different children and above all incorporating various learning methodologies. The main idea behind these workshops is to introduce the teachers about the new teaching methods and concepts being practiced by successful schools in Pakistan.
Since 2012, more than 600 government school teachers are trained. The initiative is being continued with more trainings coming up. At the end of the training sessions, the teachers look passionate and filled with enthusiasm and receive training certificates. The impact is a positive changed culture at the government schools in rural and urban areas, and a growing learning environment.
- During 2010, PARCO along with World Wildlife Fund Pakistan (WWF-P) conducted Spellathon Project in schools that are being supported by PARCO. Spellathon is a fun educational activity for raising the awareness of students on key environmental challenges, endangered species, the importance of nature and also the unique biodiversity of Pakistan etc. Spellathon was being conducted by WWF Pakistan for the past 18 years, but was only limited to private English medium schools. It was the first time that PARCO took this activity to more than 34 Government schools that are being supported by PARCO under its Schools & Clinics Program. Besides, it was also the first time that Spellathon was conducted in our national language Urdu, to make it more understandable to around 10,000 students receiving education in these 34 Government Urdu medium schools.
- PARCO also supports research, conferences, trade fairs, workshops and other events of educational institutions. PARCO has donated four gas turbines to the Mechanical Engineering Departments of four engineering universities of Pakistan i.e. NED University-Karachi, University of Engineering and Technology-Lahore, Mehran University-Jamshoro, Bahauddin Zakariya University-Multan. These turbines are now being utilized by the universities to provide hands-on training to the engineering students.