Cost of Post-2015 SDGs Proves Partnerships with Local School Owners can be Beneficial
UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report (GMR) released a new paper “Pricing the right to education: The cost of reaching new targets by 2030” to consider the immense costs associated with the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals on participating States. The analysis takes into account all low and lower middle income countries, which face the greatest challenges in education provision, and are the most likely to need external assistance, as well as the rise in the number of children entering schools. 
The key findings show that there is a US$22 billion annual external financing gap that must be filled if low and lower middle income countries are to reach “quality, universal pre-primary, primary, and lower secondary education.” Additionally, the GMR also shows that there is going to also be a significant increase in the cost per student, government spending on education, and the need for aid to quadruple in some cases to help meet the 15 year targets.
Looking at the financial challenges that lie ahead, it is clear that multilateral partnerships with governments across the globe will be a top priority if we are to reach the educational development goals of the post-2015 agenda for all children. Support will need to be both sustainable and incredibly creative, and in-house changes will need to be cost effective and educationally relevant.
With costs rising to finance the goals, the governments should welcome the LCPS sector, as they are already currently educating students at no cost to the government.
The IDP Foundation, Inc. fully believes portions of the post-2015 agenda can be met, regardless of financing, if those involved would only look towards the low-cost private school (LCPS) sector as an added resource to the solution. With costs rising to finance the goals, the governments should welcome the LCPS sector, as they are already currently educating students at no cost to the government. Partnerships with these schools, as well as access to resources, could net a huge return, if the goal of universal pre-primary, primary, and lower secondary education are to be met by 2030.
A great example of a partnership currently happening in Ghana is with an IDP Rising Schools Program (IDPRSP) graduate, Benjamin Kofu Boateng and the Peaceland Preparatory School. Benjamin got involved with IDPRS soon after it began in 2010, by joining the second group of schools offered access to microfinance capital after completing training to purchase a larger plot of land that could comfortably support his expanding low-cost private school. Although he was very lucky to have secured a sizable property, it was a great deal further from its original location, making it difficult for his students to maintain regular attendance. Utilizing his proprietor training foundation, Benjamin decided to take out another small loan from SinapiAba Trust in order to purchase a small school bus to aid transportation. As the school grew, it was obvious that another bus was needed, but instead of taking out a loan Benjamin wanted to find a local partner to help keep costs low and maintain a level of safety for the students.
Understanding costs and income as well as perseverance and persistence, all of which are taught as part of the proprietor training offered by the IDP Rising Schools Program, we were pleased to hear that Benjamin took the initiative to effectively pursue and successfully establish a partnership with the Ghana Metro Mass Transit System to assist Peaceland Preparatory with their bussing of students. Government partnerships and registration are a core value of our program, and every morning, students in upper primary are transported to the new campus and back to their homes via efficient, safe, and reliable transportation, for a small fee that is manageable by the school.
The post-2015 agenda has ambitious targets, which come at a steep financial burden to those countries classified as low and lower middle income. Incorporating the low-cost private school sector into the policy provisions in helping to reach these education goals through affordable partnerships, and ensuring all students are receiving the best form of quality education, regardless if it is public or private, is a great start.
· 1 http://www.globalpartnership.org/blog/costing-post-2015-education-targ
· 2 http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002321/232197E.pdf