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Collaboration, Learning, and New Partnerships at Global Schools Forum 2018

May 2018
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The Global Schools Forum (GSF) is an international non-profit membership organization for school operators, serving the millions of students around the world who attend non-state schools in low- and middle-income countries.

This includes the large swath of schools that are not exclusively owned and managed by the public sector; including single-owner schools and large school networks that may be for-profit, free, religious, or otherwise working in partnership with government officials.

GSF connects non-state schools to networking and professional development support from researchers, education experts, and funders. Via an online discussion forum, a resource library, and regularly scheduled webinars, GSF has emerged as a pioneering initiative that brings together education providers from different contexts to share lessons learned, in order to improve the quality of education they deliver to low-income families.

We are confident that our partnership with GSF will help increase the network’s impact on the IDP Rising Schools Program.

This year the IDP Foundation, Inc. joined Ark, Omidyar Network, Pearson Affordable Learning Fund and UBS Optimus Foundation as a grant partner and Steering Committee member of GSF. With nearly 10 years of experience supporting over 580 individual low-fee private schools with our IDP Rising Schools Program, we are honored for the opportunity to share the many lessons that we have learned from proprietors, teachers, and students in Ghana with this dynamic organization.

We are confident that this partnership with GSF will help increase the network’s impact on the IDP Rising Schools Program as well as for countless single-owner low-fee private schools around the world. One of the most recent opportunities to witness the power of peer-exchange and learning took place at the GSF 2018 Annual Meeting, where 86 other participants from around the world gathered for three days in Zurich, Switzerland.

Every attendee at this year’s Annual Meeting – whether it was their first event with GSF or they had been to several – reported that it was one of the best GSF gatherings ever! With the breadth and scope of the several panels and discussion roundtables addressing nearly every aspect of running low-fee private schools, we met and learned many new approaches to solving problems in this sector of education provision. These include durable, cost-efficient technology to monitor student attendance and improve communication between parents and teachers.

The 2018 Annual Meeting was an opportunity to re-imagine the daily challenges of providing a quality education.

In addition to hearing from practitioners and educational experts about recent research findings, the non-profit design firm demonstrated how to implement innovative design methods that ensure our programs are centered on the experiences and perspectives of the people they serve. We also heard from several GSF members who spoke about the importance of building and maintaining a culture of leadership and continuous learning in our respective organizations.

Group Photo at GSF 2018

The 2018 Annual Meeting was an opportunity to reimagine the daily challenges of providing a quality education, as well as to meet potential partners to implement solutions. We were very grateful to meet new and old friends during the event and we are looking forward to the collaborations that will spring forward from this gathering!

The GSF and the members who make up this energetic network are demonstrating the power of collaboration and partnership in pursuit of a common goal, to deliver quality education to children wherever they may be. Check out #GSF2018 to see highlights from some GSF members, and watch select panel talks on the GSF Periscope page!

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