Education  Ghana Project #24631

EduFinance: Breaking Barriers to Quality Education

by Opportunity International Vetted since 2009 Site Visit Verified
EduFinance: Breaking Barriers to Quality Education
EduFinance: Breaking Barriers to Quality Education
EduFinance: Breaking Barriers to Quality Education
EduFinance: Breaking Barriers to Quality Education
EduFinance: Breaking Barriers to Quality Education
EduFinance: Breaking Barriers to Quality Education
EduFinance: Breaking Barriers to Quality Education
EduFinance: Breaking Barriers to Quality Education
EduFinance: Breaking Barriers to Quality Education
EduFinance: Breaking Barriers to Quality Education
EduFinance: Breaking Barriers to Quality Education
EduFinance: Breaking Barriers to Quality Education

To close the global education gap, every child must have access to a quality education in a local school. In alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Opportunity drives education solutions that get more kids in quality schools by addressing the biggest challenges parents face: access, quality, and sustainability.

Our School Fee Loans are designed to help parents manage their finances, so their children can go to school and stay in school even when incomes do not match school fee due dates. School Improvement Loans create classroom seats in low-cost community schools. Because ensuring a child a seat in the classroom isn't enough we work closely with local private schools to provide access to financing and relevant training that are necessary for infrastructure and education improvements.

MEASURABLE OUTCOMES FOR CHILDREN

Research and evaluations prove EduFinance leads to better outcomes for students and schools. We are committed to measuring our impact making continuous improvements, striving to achieve the highest levels of social impact and sustainability. Recent studies demonstrate that EduFinance is helping schools reach more vulnerable children, offer higher-quality education, and become sustainable. In 2017, we conducted research in Uganda and Rwanda to confirm the impact of our School Improvement Loans. Surveys and interviews among local staff, 87 school proprietors and 200 parents showed great consistency between our EduFinance objectives and the educational needs and aspirations of families and communities.

Key Findings:

School proprietors are educated professionals.

  • 55% of the proprietors surveyed had a university degree
  • 33% completed post-secondary education
  • Making financing accessible to educated, entrepreneurial individuals like school proprietors who want to invest in their communities ultimately encourages localized growth

Opportunity-financed schools reach low-education, low-income families.

  • 41% of interviewed parents completed primary school
  • 33% completed secondary school
  • 6% reported they had not received any formal education
  • Two-thirds of the parents are self-employed or unemployed. Investing in the futures of these families breaks the cycle of inter-generational poverty, as educated children pursue more secure jobs

Financially stable schools are generating jobs in their communities.

  • 185 new full- and part-time jobs were created by the 75 financed schools studied in Uganda
  • Private schools are boosting local businesses by buying materials and hiring tradesmen to complete school renovations, contributing to the community economic development

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Because of generous supporters like you, marginalized children have bright futures filled with ample opportunity and new hope! Your support of Opportunity’s EduFinance programs around the world will continue to drive inclusive quality education for years to come. Opportunity’s approach, which blends the sustainability of Education Finance with locally-driven Education Quality services, offers a permanent solution that can be replicated to give children access to a good education in almost any developing community around the world. With your support, Opportunity has:

  • Launched operations at a second Tanzanian partner called Letshego, expanding our outreach to an active portfolio of 231 School Improvement loans and 286 School Fee loans to positively impact nearly 60,000 children.
  • Launched Opportunity’s EduFinance Quality program in Tanzania to impact more than 20,000 kids.
  • Partnered with Teach a Man to Fish and Fundación Paraguaya to launch the School Enterprise Challenge and Business Clubs to prepare children for future careers.
  • Conducted and shared research that identified how education influences girls’ pathways out of poverty in the developing world.

Today, 85 Tanzanian schools have formed into 19 Education Quality clusters. Educators self-selected into small networks of socially-focused private schools where they shared best practices, collaborated on curriculum and built standards of excellence to improve outcomes for about 21,250 kids.

By supporting Opportunity's EduFinance programs, you are creating lasting impact for students in Tanzania, and around the world. Thank you!

Links:

Charles at Top Care School
Charles at Top Care School

Every day, Charles is determined to live up to the name of his schoolTop Care. He chose the name because of his passion for children having a chance to learn in the best environment possible. Over the years, Charles has made dozens of improvements with the help of Opportunity School Improvement Loans, including the addition of new classrooms and dormitories. As a result, student enrollment has grown from 24 students in 2005 to now more than 890. Charles plans to use his next loan to expand his schools boarding facilities again in order to provide more girls from rural communities with a safe place to live while they access quality education.

Charles is not the only one who has been impacted by the Education Finance program at Opportunity International. Since 2008, Opportunity has delivered more than 180,000 loans valuing $105 million to improve schools and get kids in the classroom. We have been able to provide 2.3 million children with access to a quality education in their own communities. In addition to this, Opportunity's EduFinance portfolios have created 290,000 new sustainable seats in affordable classrooms and supported 96,000 new jobs within the educational ecosystem.

However, education is more than just a seat in the classroom. Opportunity puts quality first, and with the launch of Education Quality, Opportunity’s EduFinance initiative, quality is emphasized. The program offers the only approach that addresses the capital needs of parents and school owners while deepening the skills and competencies of local teachers and staff–all within a sustainable, low-cost framework that can be replicated worldwide.

Opportunity is currently delivering this Education Quality program in five countries, in which 630 schools receive support through our school cluster system. School clusters are groups of 4-12 schools that join together to collaborate on curriculum, share best practices, receive training, and build local standards of excellence to improve student outcomes.

By supporting Opportunity’s EduFinance initiative, you are accelerating the achievement of education for every child around the world. Parents everywhere want to give their children a good education and a chance to escape generational poverty. Educators are stepping up to fill the gaps left by public school systems. By providing access to capital, training, and local support, you are providing the catalyst for affordable private schools to rapidly expand and improve in the most marginalized communities and continue doing so long after our first intervention.

A student at Top Care
A student at Top Care

Links:

In 2015, after listening to many educators express the need for additional support in improving students’ learning outcomes, Opportunity launched a new arm of EduFinance, called Education Quality, to help local educators work together in transforming education in their communities.

With the launch of Education Quality (EdQuality), Opportunity’s EduFinance initiative now offers the only approach that addresses the capital needs of parents and school owners, while also deepening the skills and competencies of local teachers and staff—all within a sustainable, low-cost framework that can be replicated worldwide.

Opportunity’s EdQuality services were developed in coordination with industry leaders around the world, and integrates best-in-class, sustainable quality improvement strategies with technology-based assessments to track schools’ progress over time, ensuring Opportunity’s interventions lead to lasting results.

School Clusters are small, self-led networks of socially-focused private schools that work together to spark collaboration, share of best practices, and provide professional support. Opportunity works through the cluster model to deliver trainings and resources to teachers and school leaders.

Pathways to Excellence (P2E) is a first-of-its-kind assessment tool developed by Opportunity that measures a school’s strengths and weaknesses across 30 domains, including learning environment, pupil achievement and learning, teacher retention, community engagement and early childhood development.

  1. School leaders self-assess their schools using P2E to internally benchmark where their school stands on the quality spectrum.
  2. Self-assessments are then compared to objective, external assessments to pinpoint important areas for improvement.
  3. School leaders, with their Opportunity Education Specialist, then work together to create a school development plan highlighting the steps to take to achieve the school’s quality improvement goals. 

Like you, Opportunity knows that everywhere, parents want to give their children a good education. The good news is educators are stepping up to fill the gaps left by public school systems. Access to capital, blended with trainings and localized support, provides the catalyst for affordable private schools to rapidly expand and improve—and continue expanding and improving, long after Opportunity’s first intervention.

Links:

Joanna, a School Proprietor in Ghana
Joanna, a School Proprietor in Ghana

The nearby government schools in Joanna community aren’t able to offer local children the quality education they deserve—which is why so many children stay home to help their parents with farming or childcare rather than attending school. Joanna knew she could help, so five years ago, she started a school of her own to give local children a chance to learn.

Joanna invested her savings and purchased land and a small wooden structure for her first classroom. After enrollment quickly increased, Joanna applied for a loan with Opportunity to build two new classrooms to accommodate a wider age range of children, ensuring older siblings could stay in school instead of staying home to care for the younger children while their parents worked in the fields. Joanna also used part of the loan to dig a well, which has become an invaluable resource for the students and staff. With easy access to clean water, it is much easier to cook and keep the children clean and healthy. The school’s enrollment has grown as more parents see the benefit of sending their children to Joanna’s school. Today, her school serves approximately 250 students, providing them with the opportunity to learn important skills and break the cycle of poverty. Joanna plans to use her next loan to build bathrooms to further improve her school and increase attendance.

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Organization Information

Opportunity International

Location: Chicago, IL - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Ian Haisley
Chicago, IL United States

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