“Dastak” (Opportunity Knocks)

A unique, low-cost, and innovative Teacher Training Program offered by TCF

Founded in 1995, TCF has 1687 schools in underserved urban and rural locations, with a current enrollment of 275,000 children from underprivileged families and nearly 50% gender parity for girls. TCF is the largest private employer of women in Pakistan and employs 13,000 women as teachers and school principals. Over 600 TCF alumnae are now teachers at TCF schools. TCF has a well-structured program for pre-service teacher training, annual professional development, and ongoing specialist support.

The Need for Quality Teachers’ Training

There are 50 million Pakistani children of school-going age. Estimates are that 22 million of these are out of school. Of those in school, a huge majority (70%) goes to public schools or low-cost private schools (LCPS) with major deficiencies in teacher training. Most teachers in the public schools or LCPS are women who have not received adequate training, leading to major gaps in teaching competence and content knowledge, ultimately resulting in poor learning outcomes. To add to the social disparity, the privileged go to exorbitantly expensive private schools where high-quality teaching and extra-curricular activity are readily available.

Teachers’ Training at TCF

TCF has a well-established system of pre-service training and ongoing professional development programs for its 12,950 teaching faculty (all women). To share its experience and have a national impact on quality learning, TCF successfully piloted a teachers’ training program Dastak for female teachers in LCPS and public schools. The program is designed to empower female teachers and substantially improve their teaching skills, contributing to better learning for their students.


A three-phase Dastak pilot ending early 2021 with 151 women teachers showed positive outcomes authenticated by a third-party evaluator.

Empowering Women Teachers

A well-trained and confident teacher influences better student-learning outcomes. Dastak seeks to empower women teachers by improving their teaching skills, helping their professional growth and increasing opportunities for better-salaried, professional teaching jobs. Teaching is one of the few culturally acceptable employment options for most women, and a majority of LCPS and public-school teachers are women who do not have access to quality training. Dastak will help increase the trainee teacher’s capacity for content knowledge and pedagogy skills.

Dastak will cost $700,000.

Impact: 20,340 teachers will be trained over three years.

Dastak is potentially a model program for innovative teacher training. Its results shall be shared globally.