the teach tour uncovering how & why we've failed to educate children worldwide@theteachtour

honest impressions of an exciting but unsure field
The Enterprising Schools Symposium on Affordable Private Schools (APS) this week in Hyderabad, India was an excellent introduction for The Teach Tour.  We were able to examine a cross section of the sector’s many challenges alongside exciting new opportunities.  It makes sense that both challenges and incredible potential would be present at this stage, we’ve highlighted just a few.

Where there is cause to hesitate:

The schools’ quality is pretty low -Students in low-cost private schools only marginally outperform their counterparts in a failing government sector.
Stakeholder groups don’t communicate well (or much at all)- Teachers and parents, parents and school owners, school owners and service providers.  It seems that across the board there is very little communication between the sector’s key groups.
Marginalizing the Government- It is unclear whether APS’s operating without government cooperation is a good thing.  It seems to be more efficient to do so in the short term, but perhaps a potential future partner in delivering quality education is being alienated.

Where there is copious amounts of excitement:

The schools’ quality is marginally better than government schools- At such an early stage for APS to outperform government schools gives hope for future gains in quality of schools.
A group of very savvy investors is stepping into the ring: That means that folks in the finance sector think that APS are going to continue to succeed and bring them returns.  It’s always a good sign for a sector when people think they can make money out of it.
Engagement with the community: Service providers are beginning to prop up to meet the slowly growing demand of schools and parents.  From organizations that train teachers and school managers to groups that focus on developing dynamic and engaging curriculum.


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  1. Jin T

    Thanks for this great post! As an individual working with APS for the past few months, I would add parents as an important arm of the issues affecting APS that service providers could target. Both items on your list of leader limitations also stem from the fact that they must consider selling changes or additional programs to parents who do not see the value in those investments, who ask for harsh punishments, who want to see rote learning; as a result, even the most progressive of the school owners may feel confined to make choices that cater to their consumer lest they lose students to one of many other competing private schools in the area.

    Oct 22, 2012 @ 5:13 am