• Awarded: 2013
  • Issue Areas: Early Childhood to Primary Education · Education · Secondary Education · Women's and Girls' Education
  • Region: Central and Southern Asia
  • Web:
  • About the Organization

    The Citizens Foundation (TCF) was set up in 1995 by a group of citizens concerned with the dismal state of education in Pakistan. It is now one of Pakistan’s leading organizations in the field of formal education.

    TCF has established 1,060 purpose-built school units nationwide, with an enrollment of 165,000 students. TCF encourages female enrollment and strives to maintain a 50 percent female ratio in most of its campuses.

    TCF has an all-female faculty of 7,700 staff members. They also have dedicated teacher training centers in Karachi and Mansehra, and they provide logistical support to all their teachers. TCF has helped create more than 11,500 jobs in the communities where it operates.

    TCF’s vision is to remove barriers of class and privilege and to make the citizens of Pakistan agents of positive change. They believe that access to basic education is the right of each individual and not a privilege. Apart from following the regular curriculum, TCF focuses on character building, to equip students with high moral values and confidence.

    Four million children are born in Pakistan each year. Almost half of them never go to school.

    TCF provides education through community-based schools.

    Mushtaq Chhapra's vision is that all Pakistani students receive quality primary and secondary education.

    TCF is providing low-cost formal education to 145,000 children enrolled in 1,000 schools in 100 locations across Pakistan

    Ambition for Change

    All Pakistani students receive quality primary and secondary education that empowers them to become qualified, contributing members of society. Schools incorporate gender-sensitive curriculum and structure, reinforcing a cycle of equality.

    Path to Scale

    Organizational Growth

    TCF has considered additional paths to scale, including various mechanisms for sharing its curriculum and methods with other schools and school systems. Agreements to take over and manage schools currently administered by provincial governments would be considered if they included guarantees of control over hiring and firing of teachers and principals.

    Business Model

    Earned income is from school fees and represents approximately 10 percent of the cost of providing educational services. Funding comes from most of Pakistan’s major companies, some government institutions, and philanthropic donors.

    Born into a middle-class family and educated in Karachi, Mushtaq K. Chhapra rose to senior roles in manufacturing companies and serves as a director or trustee of many leading companies. With four other businessmen concerned about the dismal state of Pakistan’s education system, and the “time bomb” created by millions of children on the streets and vulnerable to exploitation, drugs, and terror, he helped to found TCF, a private provider of education through community-based schools. TCF maintains a roughly 50:50 ratio of girls to boys, trains and hires only women as teachers and principals, builds safe and secure schools, and converts parents – who are often illiterate – into believers in education. Mushtaq’s business experience and national prominence have enabled him to influence donors and the government on behalf of TCF, serving as board chair and devoting the vast majority of his time to the foundation. At the time of the Award, TCF had established 900 schools in Pakistan, serving 115,000 students. It was a 2011 member of the Clinton Global Initiative and won the WISE Award through the Qatar Foundation in 2010.

    Impact & Accomplishments

    • Currently providing low-cost formal education to 145,000 children enrolled in 1,000 schools in 100 locations across Pakistan (25-30 percent growth since Award).
    • Employs 7,700 female teachers and principals.
    • 92 percent pass rate at the matriculation level, compared with 56 percent national average.


    Mushtaq ChhapraCo-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors, The Citizens Foundation

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