Project management: The project will be managed by the Fundacion Paraguaya, the non-profit social enterprise which developed the 'Education That Pays For Itself' approach.
Project execution: The Fundación Paraguaya will work with Teach A Man To Fish, its sister non-profit located in London, UK., to identify the locations in which to replicate its model and to disseminate best practices and lessons learned internationally through its network of 516 member institutions in 72 countries.
Candidate schools for replicating Fundacion Paraguaya's educational model will be selected based on the relative need of student groups targeted, strength of management experience, commitment to financial sustainability, and support from the community and local stakeholders.
Assistance will be provided to partner schools across a range of key areas, including: planning and development of profitable school enterprises, management, finance, administration, teacher training, financial literacy, entrepreneurial skills, and the integration of entrepreneurship and sustainable agriculture into academic curricula.
Meanwhile, the Fundación Paraguaya and Teach A Man To Fish will continue to work together to disseminate the concept of 'Education That Pays For Itself' and publicize the successes of the 50 schools that are adopting the model. As a result of these efforts, other educational institutional institutions will also decide to adopt the model, and some governments will incorporate the 'Education That Pays For Itself' approach into their national school curricula.
Impact will be measured by the following standards:
- Number of young people being educated in schools following this approach (Goal: 120,000 over 10 years and an additional 200,000 over the following 10 years.)
- Number of direct beneficiaries (Goal: 600,000 students and immediate family members over 10 years and an additional 1,000,000 over the following 10 years)
- Students lifted out of poverty within three years of graduation (Goal: 100 percent)
- Social investment in education per dollar invested in each school (Goal: Three dollars for every dollar invested over 10 years)
- Number of financially self-sufficient schools established (Goal: 50 schools over 10 years)
- Geographic outreach: (Goal: 50 developing countries within 10 years.)
December 5, 2007 - Launch at the First International Conference on Financially Self-Sufficient Schools (To be held in Paraguay)
June 1, 2008 - Five schools, in at least three different developing countries, will adopt an agro-entrepreneurial curriculum and begin to implement their five-year plans for achieving financial self-sufficiency. In order to meet this goal, we will identify 5 schools that are ready and willing to replicate our model. Local educational requirements will be matched to entrepreneurial competencies in the context of viable businesses in which teachers and students can generate income for their schools. Teachers will be trained, markets will be identified, business plans will be written, and required competencies will be identified. School administration will be strengthened and appropriate procedures and software will be put in place. Potential employers will be interviewed and micro-loan opportunities will be developed so that students have access to financing to develop their enterprises at their family farms. All of these activities will be guided by our 'School-in-a-Box', a methodological manual that we have developed to help schools replicate the model
June 1, 2008 - Additional institutions interested in following this approach join the 'Teach A Man To Fish' network, allowing it to expand to 1,000 members in over 75 countries.
The challenges of extending education to those most in need are immense:
- In fragile post-conflict states, if donors build schools today, who will pay for their upkeep tomorrow?
- For the most vulnerable, from HIV orphans to child laborers, how can schools be made accessible and relevant to their needs?
- Where girls' education is seen as less valuable, how can schools empower girls to realize their full potential?
Solutions are needed that are financially sustainable and scalable.
Fundacion Paraguaya's response is, 'Education That Pays For Itself.'
This innovative approach to education was developed by the Fundación Paraguaya at its agricultural high school for the children of the rural poor. In 2002, the Fundación took over responsibility for the then-bankrupt school and, with the support of the Skoll and Avina Foundations, introduced a new curriculum that integrates traditional high school subjects with the running of small-scale, on-campus agricultural enterprises.
These school-based enterprises serve as a platform for students to develop entrepreneurial skills and business acumen so that when they graduate from high school, they are ready to succeed as self-employed entrepreneurs. These same skills are also highly valued by employers and because students receive nationally recognized qualifications the door to higher education remains open to them if they choose.
Because school enterprises sell real products to real customers, they offer a feedback mechanism to ensure that the education provided is relevant and of high quality. Moreover, teachers must constantly update their practices to keep pace with the market, which means that students leave with the skills in demand today.
Operating on the basis of a solid business plan, Fundacion Paraguaya has shown that at the end of five years of operations these enterprises are able to generate sufficient income to cover all of the school´s operating costs. Greater school resources mean better facilities, and better paid and more motivated teachers. The end result is a higher quality education.
What makes this initiative so important is that it offers a proven methodology for overcoming the key problems that have plagued education for the poor in developing countries for so long:
- The need for accessible and relevant education for the poor - in many countries poor children cannot afford school fees, and those who do go to school generally remain poor despite having received some education.
- The need for high-quality education that enables students to contribute to the economic and social development of their communities and countries.
- The need for financially sustainable schools - ones that do not depend on inadequate and undependable subsidies from governments or endless support from donors.
- The need for solutions that can be replicated relatively inexpensively on a massive scale around the globe.
The Fundación Paraguaya is a non-profit social enterprise which develops innovative solutions to poverty and unemployment, and disseminates them worldwide. It has developed and proven an innovative model of agro-entrepreneurial education and commits to replicating it at least 50 more times in developing countries over the next 10 years.
Fundacion Paraguaya's approach is also a cost-effective way to provide a quality education to the disadvantaged: at a one-off cost of $500,000, schools can finance their future operating costs from self-earned income without any further financial support. The approach also has a high social impact: over a 10-year period, every dollar invested yields at least three dollars of return in terms of school-generated income that is reinvested to improve educational quality. Additional social returns include: graduates´ increased earnings and the impact of these earnings on family health and education, the increased earnings of other workers hired by graduates who start their own businesses, and the transfer of agricultural and business know-how to rural communities as graduates create their own rural enterprises.
In developing replicable solutions to long-standing social problems, the toughest challenge is to make the approach work the first time; thereafter, the challenge is to tailor the model to similar, but different, circumstances. Fundacion Paraguaya has met this first challenge: its graduates are on their way to become economically successful and its agricultural school is 100 percent financially self-sufficient. Fundacion Paraguaya and its partners are now taking up the second challenge: helping other schools in India, Africa, and Latin America to replicate this approach. Thanks to the forum provided by the CGI, Fundacion Paraguaya will be able to identify partners with whom this proven educational approach can be replicated on a more massive scale and reach some of the neediest youth in the rest of the world.
And, thanks to the work of Teach A Man To Fish, the Fundacion Paraguaya´s sister non-profit organization located in London, UK, there is already a network of 516 institutions in 72 developing countries interested in replicating the model. It can be expected that the superior educational and financial results of each Clinton Global Initiative-funded school will continue to inspire others to adopt the model, as well as attract new funding from additional sources. As a result, the creation of each CGI-funded school will spark the creation of at least three additional schools financed from other sources, thereby substantially increasing the overall number of students and their families who benefit from this initiative.
The commitment makers are looking for additional financial resources to support existing partners to implement the model in their schools.
They are looking for NGOs, churches, private enterprises, and governments that are supporting schools and would like to adopt the model so their supported schools become self sufficient.