Earlier this month in Doha at the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder of the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, well known simply as BRAC, was chosen as the first winner of the WISE Prize for Education.
“Households with more education cope better with economic shocks and extreme weather events. People with higher levels of education earn more, have more control over their fertility, and have healthier and better-educated children.” he says while referencing the World Bank’s new Education Strategy. “The new Strategy emphasizes the need to invest early, nurturing young children to ensure that they arrive at school healthy and ready to learn; to invest smartly, transforming schools with good teachers, good materials, and good management; and to invest for all, laying the foundation for just and equitable societies.”
Governments across both the developing and developed world are experimenting with private management of public schools to better serve the poorest, and most under-served students. But have recent innovations lived up to their promise of improved results?
The verdict from a recent review of America’s ‘charter schools’—the most rigorous analysis of privately-managed schools to date—suggests some cause for optimism, at least at the middle school level. What is more, recent studies show that successful ideas from the private sector can feed back into the public sector to improve education for all.
As donors, developing country governments, civil society and private sector representatives gather in Copenhagen for the replenishment of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), I feel both a sense of pride and urgency.
Last month the World Bank hosted Mr.Kapil Sibal, India’s Minister of Human Resources and Development. Sibal spoke to a packed audience about India’s contributions to the global knowledge economy and discussed some of his widely publicized education reforms and plans for the Indian education system. The highlight of the event was Sibal’s display of the $35 tablet PC which he hoped to launch soon as a technology aide to help bridge quality gaps in secondary education. The event was chaired by Tamar Manuelyan Atinc, Vice President of the Human Development Network, and moderated by Mr. Michal Rutkowski, Sector Director for Human Development in the South Asia Region.