Education improvement in rural area

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Education improvement in rural area

The poor, so this logic goes, need government assistance if they are to get a good education, which helps explain why, in the United States, many school choice enthusiasts believe that the only way the poor can get the education they deserve is through vouchers or charter schools, proxies for those better private or independent schools, paid for with public funds.

But if we reflect on these beliefs in a foreign context and observe low-income families in underprivileged and developing countries, we find these assumptions lacking: For the past two years I have overseen research on such schools in India, China, and sub-Saharan Africa.

The project, funded by the John Templeton Foundation, was inspired by a serendipitous discovery of mine while I was engaged in some consulting work for the International Finance Corporation, the private finance arm of the World Bank. Taking time off from evaluating Education improvement in rural area elite private school in Hyderabad, India, I stumbled on a crowd of private schools in slums behind the Charminar, the 16th-century tourist attraction in the central city.

Rural Appalachian Improvement League

It was something that I had never imagined, and I immediately began to wonder whether private schools serving the poor could be found in other countries. That question eventually took me to five countries—Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, India, and China—and to dozens of different rural and urban locales, all incredibly poor.

These are in vastly different settings, but my research teams and I found large numbers of private schools for low-income families, many of which showed measurable achievement advantage over government schools serving equally disadvantaged students.

Education improvement in rural area

In each country I visited, officials from national governments and international agencies that donate funds for the expansion of state-run education denied that private education for the poor even existed.

In the slums of Hyderabad, India, a typical private school would be in a converted house, in a small alleyway behind bustling and noisy streets, or above a shop. Classrooms are dark, by Western standards, with no doors hung in the doorways, and noise from the streets outside easily entering through the barred but unglazed windows.

Walls are painted white, but discolored by pollution, heat, and the general wear-and-tear of the children; no pictures or work is hung on them.

Children will usually be in a school uniform and sitting at rough wooden desks. Generally, there are about 25 students in a class, a decent teacher-to-student ratio, but the tiny rooms always seem crowded.

Area Health Education Center

Often the top floor of the building will have various construction work going on to extend the number of classrooms. The school proprietor will usually live in a couple of rooms at the back of the building.

In rural Ghana, a typical private school might consist of an open-air structure, often no more than a tin roof supported by wooden poles, on a small plot of land. In the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, private schools are made from the same materials as every other building: Floors are usually mud, roofs sometimes thatched.

Children will not be in uniform and will usually be sitting on homemade wooden benches. In the dry season, the wind will blow dust through the cracks in the walls; in the rainy season, the playground will become a pond, and the classroom floors mud baths.

Teaching continues, however, through most of these intemperate interruptions. In order to conduct research in five countries from my base in Newcastle, England, I recruited teams of researchers from reputable local universities and nongovernmental organizations NGOs.

While fielding the research crews, I visited dozens of likely study sites, always in low-income areas, and always found private schools for the poor. I also visited government offices to gain permission to conduct the research. In the end, all of the chosen countries, apart from China, were rated by the Oxfam Education Report as countries where education needs were not being met by government systems.

Though China is ranked relatively high on the Oxfam index, we wanted to include it in our study because of the dramatic political and economic changes there in the past several decades. Because of the threat of SARS, however, our first research team spent a long period in quarantine and thus our research there is not yet complete.

Other countries were chosen for a mixture of practical and substantive reasons. I was particularly interested in Kenya, where free elementary education had just been introduced to much acclaim. How would this affect private schools for the poor, should they exist?

I had conducted research earlier in Hyderabad, India, was familiar with the terrain, and had many contacts in government and the private sector, so it seemed sensible to continue the project there.

Education Next is a journal of opinion and research about education policy.

And because of a chance meeting with the Ghanaian minister of education at a conference in Italy, we were invited to that western African nation. Many difficulties emerged that I had not taken account of as the project progressed.

Heavy rains prevented the research teams from moving around in both Ghana and Nigeria for weeks at a time; intense heat delayed work for days in Hyderabad; early snowfalls hampered movement in the mountains of China.Quality Improvement Activities in Rural Areas SUMMARY Health care quality is highly variable and falls far short of what it should be in all environments (see Chapter 2).

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Education improvement in rural area

The Indiana University School of Medicine Division of Continuing Medical Education is a large and robust provider of CME with activities ranging from large multi-day conferences to online modules. Text Preview. Improving education in rural areas: Guidance for rural development specialists Jeanne Moulton For Charles Maguire, The World Bank January J.

Moulton, rural education, 05/16/01 third draft ii Executive summary Universal basic education is a critical part of rural development.

The challenges facing struggling rural schools | The Thomas B. Fordham Institute