Promising education

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James Tooley, winner of the first IFC-FT "business and development" essay competition now has another string to his bow. This past week the philanthropic arm of Orient Global, said that it had asked Prof Tooley to act as special adviser on how to invest $100m in private schools for the very poor in developing countries.

Writes the FT in an editorial over the weekend:

Without literacy and numeracy, people are doomed to a life of poverty. Development experts know that. So, too, do parents. Disgusted by corrupt and incompetent public sector provision, many of the world's poorest people are turning to private sector alternatives. This is a fascinating development, on which the world should now build. …

[H]uge potential…. exists for further development of this dynamic sector. Investment, [Tooley] suggests, could go into improved infrastructure, into small-scale research and development, and into the development of branded schools. Brands are a way for business people to establish - and then benefit - from a reputation for quality, including also in the provision of education.

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