Organization: University of Buckingham
Country: Nigeria & India
Project Name: Enhancing Freedom Through Quality Improvements in Low-cost Private Schools
Private Sector Solutions ✓
System Change ✓
Empowerment of Individuals ✓
Teaching Freedom ✓
Despite the success of low-cost private education in the developing world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, governments often attempt to hinder their growth and flourishing. One of the most frequent criticisms is that the teachers within these schools do not have the same level of training and certification as those in government schools. Critics also argue that even if most research shows that the pupils in these schools outperform those in public schools, the quality of education remains low across both sectors.
The University of Buckingham, in partnership with the Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED) in Nigeria, and the Centre for Teacher Accreditation (CENTA) in India is seeking to address this significant challenge by bringing an internationally recognized, educationally effective, technologically innovative, and affordable training program for educators in the low-cost private sector. The program will empower teachers and school managers and increase the quality of teaching and learning in these schools.
The project will demonstrate to governments the commitment of the low-cost private sector to improving the quality of teaching and learning in their schools, and thus allow private school associations to argue the case for a more liberal regulatory framework. A leaner regulatory framework will empower educational entrepreneurs and school managers with the freedom to innovate and experiment.
These schools also operate under regimes where the Rule of Law is not necessarily observed, which increases the likelihood of bribery and corruption, as regulations tend to be arbitrarily applied. One way of reducing corruption is to reduce the purview of the state; this project will facilitate that process by showing that self-regulation within the private sector can lead to higher standards of education through international teacher accreditation.
The teacher training program will improve teachers’ potential for living independent and self-determined lives by increasing their sense of self-efficacy and self-confidence, as well as their teaching skills and marketability. Better teaching and learning outcomes in these schools will also increase the dignity and self-respect of the children involved, and better their opportunity for obtaining gainful employment, further education study or entrepreneurship. Each of these will impact on their families’ freedom too.