Many of the poorest parents in the developing world are choosing to send their children to low-cost private schools. These schools are owned and operated by local school proprietors who charge an affordable tuition to parents who demand more access and accountability than the government sector can provide. However, despite growing market demand, low-cost private schools lack access to many basic services and are usually disenfranchised and marginalized.
IDP RISING SCHOOLS PROGRAM
In September 2009 the IDP Foundation, Inc., in partnership with Sinapi Aba Trust (a Ghanaian microfinance institution) created the IDP Rising Schools Program.The program was developed in response to the clear market demand by impoverished parents to address the lack of access for their children to quality education. As a result, there are a multitude of privately owned schools that are attempting to close this gap.We only target existing schools reaching the most poor at the very bottom of the economic pyramid. School fees in these types of schools are on average $15 per term.The program began with a pilot study of 105 existing private schools. After three years of demonstrated success, this has transformed into a fully-developed program ready for expansion throughout Ghana.To view current program statistics click here.The IDP Rising Schools Program is based on a sustainable microfinance model that provides school proprietors with extensive training in financial literacy and school management. The cost of the training is factored into the terms of the loan products which are then provided to meet the specific need of the school. Topics covered include accounting, savings, handling credit, human resources management, community relations and registration with Ghana Education Services (GES) as a school and business. Hence proprietors are offered the necessary tools to stabilize the schools and prioritize for the future.The program partners strongly emphasize working within the Government’s educational framework. We advocate for a strong public private partnership between these schools’ proprietors and the government in order to support improvements in the quality of learning and the inclusion of all children.IDPRSP invests in communities through assisting existing schools not well reached by the public education system. It is a realistic market-driven program which respects, recognizes and empowers the efforts of the poor who want to be included in MDG goal #2, the Education for All initiative and the Education First initiative, as well as complementing the Government’s efforts to educate all children.
For the Schools:
- Improve the quality of education school owners can offer their students
- Increase stability and sustainability
- Improve infrastructure
- Achieve gender parity
- Increase enrollment
- Improve support for teachers
For the Microfinance Institution:
- Demonstrate that investing in low cost private schools has a positive return on investment as well as social impact
The Program consists of trainings to school proprietors and teachers to improve business management, quality of education, health, and safety, as well as access to six different targeted loan products that specifically address the cash flow challenges of a school.
To learn about how we developed and structured this model, click here.