Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the relationship between TCF (Pakistan) and TCF-USA?

TCF (Pakistan) is an internationally acclaimed non-profit organization in Pakistan providing formal education to the underprivileged. TCF-USA is a US non-profit recognized as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code. TCF-USA was inspired by the work of TCF in Pakistan, but it has its own independent bylaws and Board of Directors.
While TCF-USA implements most of the programs for education of Pakistani children through TCF in Pakistan, TCF-USA has the discretion to make grants to other educational charities as well.

Q. What is the source of funding for TCF Pakistan?

Half of the funding for TCF programs is raised in Pakistan from individual donors, corporations and foundations. TCF also receives donations from individuals and foundations all over the world. Pakistani expatriates and generous non-Pakistani supporters in the US, UK, UAE, Canada and other countries. Independent global organizations such as TCF-USA fund educational programs implemented by TCF in Pakistan.

Q. What is the source of funding for TCF-USA?

TCF-USA receives contributions from a broad segment of the general public in the US.

Q. Is it safe for me to donate to TCF-USA? How can I be sure my donation is going to the right place?

Absolutely. TCF-USA is rated 4 Stars by Charity Navigator for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. This is the eighth time that TCF-USA has received the top rating. TCF-USA is a Gold Level participant in the Guidestar Exchange program to encourage nonprofit transparency.

Since its inception in 2002 TCF-USA adopted the ‘Best Practices Guidelines’ set by the US Treasury Department for charities that send money to overseas causes. Transparency is very important to us as well as to our donors, and we continue to abide by Treasury Department guidelines. Our audited financials are also available on the website.

TCF has an open-door policy for school visits in Pakistan. US Ambassadors in Pakistan and other representatives from the US State Department have visited several TCF schools.
Both TCF and TCF-USA have received letters of support from present and former legislators in Congress, lauding TCF efforts to help improve education in Pakistan.

Q. What portion of my donation goes towards education programs?

Approximately 90% of every donation goes towards education programs in Pakistan. A small portion of the donation is spent on administration, marketing and fund raising expenses. TCF-USA has received high ratings for organization and fund raising efficiency, because our fundraising and administrative expenses are 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:

Province Units Percentage
Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) 9 1%
Baluchistan 72 6%
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 63 5%
Sindh 586 49%
Punjab 472 39%
Total 1202 100%
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. 18 cents to $3.00 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 $12/month for each child, or $144 per year. The tuition fees collected from families covers 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 (10th grade). Please note, this is the minimum and TCF has many primary school teachers with a Bachelor and Master’s degrees. All secondary school teachers (and all school Principals, plus 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 and the other in Mansehra. Master Trainers coordinate the regional training programs 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 competition are included in the curriculum to help develop the complete student.
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