April 22, 2017 Adam

Liberia is outsourcing education. Can it work?

Liberia’s school outsourcing experiment is a bold move. But public private partnerships involving international organisations are still (and perhaps always will be) a limited response to a huge social challenge.

Truly large scale market innovation in education is already being delivered by indigenous for profit school businesses, many of whom have been operating successfully across Africa, Asia and South America, for decades, without the support of international donors or government subsidy.

Here in Kampala, 84% of children are taught in low cost private schools, with a recent study suggesting there were over 400 such centres of learning around the city.

Schole is supporting local school operators across East Africa to bring international best practice into the classroom, and brokering multimillion dollar private investment to enable successful businesses to scale.

Governments in developing countries will never be able to meet the meet the spiralling demand for and costs of education on their own. By supporting home grown entrepreneurs, we can ensure that high quality education is accessible for all.

Adam Nichols

First published in the Financial Times, 29th April 2017