Type Consultancy
Key dates

Queries by: Thursday 30 June 2016

Replies to queries posted by: Friday 15 July 2016

Apply by: Friday 29 July 2016

Start date: Friday 12 August 2016

End date: Friday 16 December 2016


We are looking to appoint a reputable agency or individual with the following qualities:

  • strong research portfolio, evidenced by previous projects;
  • expertise internationally, preferably in an education context and preferably in South Asia;
  • some expertise in the area of English language;
  • strong dedicated team with suitable experience and qualifications;
  • understanding of the British Council’s objectives;
  • two or more published reports in peer review journals or that have made significant contributions to policy;
  • experience of designing questionnaires used in published works.


We are looking for an agency or individual to conduct a research project on the transition to English as a medium of instruction in Punjab.

The British Council has a clear, long term interest in education in Pakistan and in Punjab in particular. A significant amount of the British Council’s engagement in Pakistan has been in the area of English. British Council research projects, such as ‘Skills Disconnect in Sindh’ have emphasised the role that English plays in increasing or ensuring employability. 

The relationship between English and overall education quality is very important: with the adoption of the post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals, emphasis has shifted from providing access to education to ensuring ‘inclusive and equitable quality education’ and ‘promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all’.  

Improving English teaching and learning in government schools is crucial for social mobility and the reduction of poverty in Pakistan. Traditionally, the children of the wealthy attend private, English Medium Instruction schools, and have access to well qualified English teachers, whereas children from poorer families, particularly in rural areas, often have little access to quality English teaching.  

In order to rectify this imbalance, the Government of the Punjab have introduced English as a Medium of Instruction from Grade 4. Though both English and the quality of education are undoubtedly important issues throughout Pakistan, existing policies and structures mean that these matters must be dealt with at a provincial level. Punjab has thus far been very proactive in engaging on these issues. A variety of partners have been recruited and a significant amount of necessary and effective work has been done to reshape the Punjab education system.

This SLO prioritisation exercise offers a key opportunity to engage with the curriculum in a new way and to ensure that all children are able to keep up. This study will focus on the transition to English as a medium of instruction, which occurs in Grade 4. It will therefore examine the potential curriculum gap in English in Grade 3, and in all subjects taught in English in Grade 4. This project should engage with the following research question:

Is there a curriculum gap in English and in subjects taught in English in grades 3 and 4 in the Punjab? If so, how can this be managed? 

Within this, we expect the following areas to be addressed: 

  • What is the curriculum gap at the end of Grade 3 in English? Are most students prepared to move into EMI classrooms?
  • What are the implications of this curriculum gap on the subsequent achievements of these students in Grade 4? 
  • What percentage of students are behind the curriculum at the end of Grade 3? Does this percentage increase at the end of Grade 4? Can this increase be attributed to poor English Language Skills? 
  • Has the SLO prioritisation exercise significantly changed the pace of the curriculum? Have teachers been adequately prepared to address this change?
  • Do teachers understand the changes? Have these been communicated effectively? Have teachers been adequately prepared to address this change?
  • What interventions might be effective to manage the curriculum gap? 

How to apply

Please read the Invitation to Tender, complete Annex 1 (Mandatory Information) and Annex 2 (Supplier Response Form). Submit these documents to Muhammad.Ali2@britishcouncil.org.pk no later than Friday 29 July 2016.  

  • Please ensure that you send your submission in good time to prevent issues with technology – late submissions may not be considered.
  • Supporting evidence (PDF, JPG, PPT, Word and Excel formats only - other formats should not be used) can be provided to substantiate your response – please ensure that all attachments/supporting evidence is clearly labelled with the appropriate question number.
  • Completion and submission of your response does not guarantee award of any British Council contract