Growing non-state prescence

GSF was established to respond to the rapid yet fragmented growth of the non-state school education sector in Sub Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Over the last two decades, the percentage of students in low-income countries attending non-state primary schools doubled, from 11 percent to 22 percent. In Africa alone, this growth is projected to increase from 21 percent in 2013 to 25 percent by 2021; in South Asia, one-third of six to eighteen year olds attend non-state schools.

Non-state schooling has grown organically in the developing world in a bottom-up manner, unlike in the developed world, where it is largely a privilege of the elite.

There is evidence to suggest that non-state operators have been successful in expanding access by increasing the number of school places available, especially in settings where there is a gap in state provision and/or among marginalised groups.

Working in Partnership

The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for bold, constructive and innovative partnerships between governments, the non-state sector, civil society and donors. If we are serious about meeting SDG#4 (Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all), the importance of non-state provision in education globally is simply too large to ignore.

We believe that non-state schools can contribute to reaching the ambitious targets of SDGs because they can provide capacity where state systems faces constraints; they are well placed to innovate and find new ways raise standards, increase access, and reduce costs.

We need to leverage the resources and regulatory frameworks of government and the efficiency and capacity of the non-state sector.

Strengthening the Sector

Sadly, learning outcomes are still extremely low across both private and state schools – Of the 650 million primary school age children in the world, 250 million are not able to read, write or do basic mathematics. A lot remains to be done…

Over the last decade, several passionate entrepreneurs have established innovative schooling models that seek to deliver a high-quality education at an affordable cost. Unfortunately, many of these pioneers are working as “Islands of Excellence” lacking access to the relationships and knowledge that could enable them to scale effectively.  

While there are many local associations and advocacy bodies, there is no single “go to” global platform to objectively represent the opportunities and challenges faced by non-state schools.

GSF exists to meet this need.

Baum et al (2014) “Regulating market entry of low-cost private schools in Sub-Saharan Africa: Towards a theory of private education regulation”. International Journal of Educational Development, 60, 100-112
Dahal, M. & Nguyen, Q. (2014) “Private Non-State Sector Engagement in the Provision of Educational Services at the Primary and Secondary Levels in South Asia: An Analytical Review of Its Role in School Enrollment and Student Achievement”. Policy Research Working Paper No. 6899. World Bank.
Caerus Capital (2017) “The Business of Education in Africa”