Schooling for households on less than $2 per day by John Northrop
There is a type of schooling in sub-Saharan Africa and other areas of the developing world, which is starting to gain considerable notice. The topic is low-cost private education.
The idea is that students whose household income is at or below $2 per day can still go to school and receive an education, which ensures they are learning in a viable environment with teachers who are able to manage the size of the class.
The cost is still heavy as a proportion of household income but “parents choose to spend it, with the hope — and the belief — that education is the path out of poverty.” It costs around $6 – $10 per month for education and another $6 per month for food and uniforms.
Scalability is the key to being able to provide low cost schooling. Central administration with networked tools allows for low admin and support costs with teachers and the curriculum being the focal point. Different approaches are taken by different schools with scripted curricula in some and more flexible curricula in others.
Public (and often free) schooling is available in many sub-Saharan school systems. However, with an increase of population in sub-Saharan Africa, it is estimated that the number of children under 14 is expected to increase by 112m between 2010 and 2025. This is an additional 7.5 million children, on average, per year. This is in addition to the 30 million children who do not already receive education. Whipping out the calculator, at least $11 billion is required in addition to current education spending in sub-Saharan Africa alone. $11 billion is less than 1% of global defense spending for those who struggle with zero’s.
It has been proven that education empowers. In one study, access to education reduced infant mortality 16 years later due to the knowledge gained in school of the new mothers. Imagine the impact if, when the population growth reaches tipping point, more people than not have an education.
You may be interested in finding out about the following schools:
Omega Schools – http://www.omega-schools.com/
Bridge International Academies – http://www.bridgeinternationalacademies.com/
Low-fee private schools in sub-Saharan Africa make up a virtually untapped $14.5bn market, according to Bridge co-founder Shannon May, an estimate based on what poor parents are already paying for nursery or primary education without branded providers. In Lagos, banks are in the early stages of designing products for these schools, which have an estimated $900m in loan requirements, according to DEEPEN Nigeria, a $29m Dfid–funded programme launched last year to improve learning outcomes for children from low-income families.
And finally, how do you provide educational toys for low income households?
Early Child Development
These miniature chalkboards allow pupils to practice writing without the need for paper, which can be cost-prohibitive to parents.
Coloured counters, which are essentially bottle caps and their plastic rings, are used to teach color recognition, fine motor skills, counting, and other basic mathematical concepts.
Repurposed egg cartons serve as ten frames, grounding pupils in early counting skills in base 10 and explaining concepts like counting, addition, subtraction, and even fractions in a natural setting.
Geoboards allow pupils to perform complex algorithms, such as multiplication, division, fractions, plane geometry, and even basic algebra, simply by shifting a rubber band on a 10×10 grid.
Science kits, containing compasses, weather instruments, magnifying glasses, soil samples, plastic containers for experiments, and more, give pupils another opportunity to learn by doing.
Maps and satellite imagery allow pupils to see firsthand how the world is laid out. They start by studying the world as a whole, but eventually learn to map their own communities and academies, too.
Budget private schools: solution to Africa’s education woes?
For-profit school chains educate Africa’s poor
Bridge International Academies