REINVENTING THE RURAL
There are hundreds of millions of students lacking quality education.
A sustainable and scalable solution is critical.
There are several paths for sustainable funding and the eSchool 360 can work with ALL of them:
Donor FundingOur school operations are currently funded by our scholarships from individuals, groups, and foundations. At a small scale, like our pilot schools, donor funding can be a form of sustainability, particularly in the case of an endowment or a platform with predictable donor revenue. However at a large scale, the sustainability burden on even the largest donor organizations becomes too great.
Private SchoolsThere are many developing countries which utilize tuition-funded private schools. Unfortunately, even at $3/month these are out of the price range of the poorest families and are affordable by less than 20% of the population. We currently ask communities for a $2 per student annual contribution. As poor economies continue to grow, the potential reach of the eSchool 360 as a private school model will expand.
Social EnterprisesStarting a business and starting a school are both difficult challenges. Trying to do both at once is herculean, which is why you don't see it in developed countries. That being said, there are many NGO's that are looking at various methods of income generation and continue to explore and remain open-minded about the possibilities. Indeed, we recently opened a solar shop in a nearby town.
Government FundingUltimately public education at scale is a government service. In countries like Zambia, providing Universal Quality Education is difficult because the tax base is very low (most people are subsistence farmers). The eSchool 360 operates at 1/3 of the current government costs per student and will make these scarce tax revenues go much further. We are in very preliminary discussions with the Ministry of Education and other partners to take the model to national scale.
RESEARCH AND EVALUATION
Before going to scale, Impact Network will run a in-depth evaluation of the eSchool 360 model beginning in 2013.
Our research and evaluation program is managed by Director of Research, Dr. Michael Weiss, and fellow researcher Dr. David Seidenfeld, both of whom are leaders in the field of education policy research. The impact evaluation will be conducted in partnership with an independent research organization who will implement an impact evaluation to explore the following questions:
- How do children who attend eSchools compare to children who attend government schools in the same area?
- How do children who attend eSchools compare to children who attend community schools?
- How do children who attend eSchools compare to children in villages without schools?