Business and Development Sector Reports

Closing the Education Gap – Unleashing the Potential of Private Schools for the Poor

Endeva has released a report titled ” Closing the Education Gap – Unleashing the Potential of Private Schools for the Poor.” The report highlights the challenges that private schools face in providing basic education for the poor at a very low cost.

Download the full report at the link below : 


private schools

Executive Summary

Closing the Education Gap

Low-cost private schools can help the poor bridge the basic education gap. Indeed, they already play a significant role in educating the children of millions of poor families throughout the developing world – charging the equivalent of just a few dollars a month in tuition fees. The bottom-up, demand-driven nature of low-cost private schools allows them to meet the specific needs of poor parents, many of whom choose to send their children to fee-paying private schools rather than have them attend free public schools.

Low-cost private schools succeed where poor parents believe public schools frequently fail – meeting their demands for Affordable and Accessible education for their children, provided by teachers and administrators who are held Accountable for the quality of instruction and educational outcomes. This “Triple-A rating” that families are giving low-cost private schools suggests that they are an educational choice for low-income parents that is here to stay.

However, there is plenty of room for improvement. While research shows that low-cost private schools often offer education of a higher quality than that offered by neighbouring public schools, they still fall short of the standards of private schools catering to middle-income families. In order to expand access to and enhance the quality of education, “edupreneurs” need support: They often operate in embryonic education ecosystems in low-income sectors and thus face significant constraints, particularly when it comes to: Accessing Finance to develop their school, navigating complex Regulatory Environments, and Enhancing Education Quality. Creating the right conditions for low-cost private schools to flourish and improve requires a concerted effort by various players including financial institutions, governments, development partners, non-profit organizations, foundations, and researchers.

For example, financial institutions of all kinds can widen access to the funding channels available to school proprietors; governments can dismantle regulatory hurdles and implement policies that incentivize low-cost private schools; companies can create innovative solutions for improving education and increasing transparency in low-income education markets; NGOs can act as service providers and intermediaries to schools, providing teacher training, assisting with developing curricula or rating schools.

Action by all players in nascent education ecosystems in low-income markets is needed to help them thrive.

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