Motivation For Scaling
While we understand the need for governments in developing countries to commit to ensure quality public education for all, we are very clear that “education cannot wait”. We cannot leave children stranded without an education while we continue to advocate for free public education hence we also work with Affordable Private Schools that cater for children from low-income families. The points below provide the basis for our work in this sector and we hope that you resolve to walk this journey of transforming the education space with us.
- 264 million children, adolescents and youth remain out of school, 94 million of whom live in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Nigeria, where we started our work, the country ranks No. 1 with the highest number of out-of-school children globally with 13.2 million children.
- Local, social entrepreneurs from the same disadvantaged communities as these children start Affordable Private Schools to tackle this challenge.
- Most poor parents have voted with their feet and choose to send their children to Affordable Private Schools rather than Public Schools in search of greater accountability.
- Affordable Private School are given derogatory names and termed low quality, but no one neither provides them with information on their strengths and weaknesses nor supports them with a defined roadmap for improvement.
- It is easier for a tomato-seller in the local market to access credit than for an Affordable Private School owner to improve the educational environment of their school.
- Despite these schools filling the gap to educate poor children and the cost savings they clearly provide for Government, they are still not provided the enabling environment to operate.
Strategy For Scaling
Improving financial sustainability is a key component of our expansion strategy therefore SEED has adopted a revenue-generating operating model. We want to grow quickly, but we know that outside funding may not always keep pace. Technology and Partnerships sits at the core of our strategy to boost our efficiency. Below are the principles that will guide our expansion over the next 10 years.
If our clients see reliably better results year after year, more people will want to enroll with us. We will be focusing on impact measurement to ensure we’re consistently delivering high-quality products and services.
If we’re embedded in communities, our clients trust us, and they recommend us to their neighbors. That’s why our model involves building strong relationships and person-to-person marketing. We will also leverage existing platforms for reaching out — working with school associations, government, non-profits, civil society organisations, amongst others.
We’ll ensure dedicated staff in the field whose careers will develop as our organisation grows. We will keep our team members motivated so that they are committed to our clients’ success.
Integrity is one of our core values—we do what we say we’re going to do, and we’re committed to staying with communities for the long haul. The trust we’ve earned with clients, governments, and community leaders is one of our biggest assets.
Affordable Private Schools are a fast growing segment of private schools in the developing world. This sector creates an educational alternative to government schools for low-income families by charging low tuition fees ($3 – $15 a month) for attendance. Low-income families in countries like Nigeria, Ghana, India, Kenya, China & Pakistan enroll their children in Affordable Private Schools as an alternative to government-funded schools and private schools that are expensive relative to their income.
Affordable Private Schools for poor children are indeed sustainable. Hundreds of thousands of these schools in Africa, Asia, and Latin America are already up and running. They are managed by edupreneurs that have bootstrapped their way to three or six classrooms. Although it is hard to imagine that schools charging $3-$15 per month can cover all costs, provide a livelihood to the proprietor and provide quality education, they actually do. But we can help them do more.
Professor Tooley, the world’s foremost authority on Affordable Private Schools, concluded a seven-year study where he found put that the quality of education in the schools is substantially higher than in government schools. Children from these schools consistently scored higher on national, standardized tests than children from government schools. There is much room, however, to improve the education quality further, and school proprietors are eager to receive guidance to make such improvements.