PSEI – Pakistan Special Education Initative


About PSEI

The CareTech Foundation is delighted to unveil the inauguration of the Pakistan Special Education Initiative (PSEI), an ambitious project pioneered and generously funded by the CareTech Foundation. With a substantial grant commitment totaling £100,000 over a span of three years, PSEI is poised to revolutionize the landscape of Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) resources within mainstream schools across Pakistan. This groundbreaking initiative will encompass the following key objectives:

– Development of a screening system akin to the Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) implemented in the UK.
– Provision of comprehensive learning and development resources aimed at equipping school staff with enhanced capabilities to cater to the needs of students with special requirements.
– Establishment of stringent quality standards and specialized training protocols for assessors operating within schools.
– Crafting of a tailored SEND curriculum tailored to the unique needs of Pakistani schools.

According to estimates from the United Nations, approximately one in four individuals in Pakistan is likely to encounter challenges related to mental health or disability, translating to a staggering 50–60 million people in terms of population. Given Pakistan’s youthful demographic (with 60% of the populace aged under 35), there exists a growing imperative for robust mental health and SEND support mechanisms within educational institutions. Presently, schools often resort to outsourcing resources from unverified overseas providers, resulting in generic training modules devoid of a holistic support framework. NGOs and educational institutions in Pakistan have underscored the prevalent issue of inadequate staff expertise hindering the acceptance and proper accommodation of children with SEND requirements, leading to limited admission opportunities and substandard management practices.

Drawing upon the expertise of CareTech Holdings Ltd, one of the UK’s foremost providers of social care for adults and children, the PSEI initiative will foster collaborative partnerships between schools in the UK and Pakistan to deliver personalized support. In its inaugural phase, the Foundation has enlisted the participation of five Pakistani schools to engage closely with five CareTech Ltd schools, facilitating knowledge exchange and access to specialized training resources utilized by British social care professionals.

PSEI aims to introduce screening tools to facilitate the early identification of children with potential SEND needs, empowering educators to administer proven learning pathways honed within the UK educational context over numerous years. For students identified with SEND requirements, the initiative will implement robust measures to ensure the training and accreditation of assessors, thus fostering a culture of inclusivity and tailored support within mainstream Pakistani schools.

Thus far, PSEI has established an esteemed Advisory Board comprising local disability advocates from diverse backgrounds and appointed a dedicated Senior Programme Manager tasked with spearheading on-the-ground engagement and program delivery. The initiative has garnered invaluable support from the COSARAF Foundation during its nascent stages, with the Sheikh family charity contributing its Pakistan Director to aid in the establishment of the initiative and facilitate collaboration with local educational institutions.

With unwavering commitment from partners both in Pakistan and the UK, PSEI aspires to furnish a transformative educational framework, empowering a generation of young Pakistanis through the cultivation of SEND-confident and SEND-competent educators across the nation.

We are delighted to have the support of CareTech Ltd and COSARAF for the Pakistan Special Education Initiative. The three elements of delivery are crucial and all play a critical role in what will become an appeal to government to adopt the curriculum at national level once we have tested and proved the effectiveness of it. This will be life-changing for so many children and their families. The aim is to start with five schools but every year more will be added as we scale our efforts. We will continue to bring onboard specialist partners to help us develop the best resources and report on our work. We need local support to do this so I ask everyone to join us in making PSEI a success.
Jonathan Freeman MBE FRSA, CareTech Foundation CEO