RSI Corporate - Licensing

The $1-a-week school

The Economist – Staff Writer

“ACROSS the highway from the lawns of Nairobi’s Muthaiga Country Club is Mathare, a slum that stretches as far as the eye can see. Although Mathare has virtually no services like paved streets or sanitation, it has a sizeable and growing number of classrooms. Not because of the state—the slum’s half-million people have just four public schools—but because the private sector has moved in. Mathare boasts 120 private schools. This pattern is repeated across Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. The failure of the state to provide children with a decent education is leading to a burgeoning of private places, which can cost as little as $1 a week (see article). The parents who send their children to these schools in their millions welcome this. But governments, teachers’ unions and NGOs tend to take the view that private education should be discouraged or heavily regulated. That must change.”(more)

African countries have a STEM education problem, but are private partnerships the answer?

Quartz – Lee Middleton

“African countries are struggling to find science and math teachers – like everywhere else. But unlike everywhere else, massive youth populations and already lean budgets pose big challenges to governments tackling the education system generally, and math and science education in particular. Enter the go-to solution invoked for every problem in Africa from transport networks to broadband access: public private partnerships or PPPs. “We should think about how the private sector can enter schools, bring the lab at IBM to the classroom,” says Njideka Harry, CEO of the Youth for Technology Foundation. Sitting on the “Future of Technology” panel at this month’s World Economic Forum Africa Summit, Harry’s emphasis on PPPs was in keeping with the take-home message from a forum full of sessions like “Transforming Education” and “Harnessing Africa’s Biggest Resource.” For cash-strapped governments facing a demographic reality where half the population is under 30, and a third are under 13, calling in the cavalry makes sense. But in handing education over to the private sector, is there not a risk of creating a 21st century version of the Victorian education model intended to churn out the labor that kept the factories of the Industrial Revolution humming? Perhaps. But on a continent where 60% of the unemployed are young people, there is an upside to an education that actually leads to employment.”(more)

STEM requires innovation and public/private partnership

The Hill – Predrag Lesic

“The American economy continues to produce jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). According to a 2014 report by the General Accounting Office (GAO) the nation’s job growth between 2004 and 2012 was nearly expressly due to job creation in STEM fields. Non-STEM jobs remained about the same in number over that time span. While the percentage of students earning degrees in STEM fields has increased over the past decade, America still lags behind other nations in global measures of academic performance and lacks the trained workforce to meet the growing job market. Innovative philanthropic programs and business-supported initiatives around the world can serve as inspiration as the US seeks to engage the next generation in STEM education and entice them into careers in those growing sectors. The UK-based startup Kano (kano.me) is revolutionizing the way children interact with technology. Kano captures children’s interest and imaginations with build-it-yourself computer kits. After assembling their own working computers, kids dive into interactive gaming that helps them learn coding and computational thinking. Kano Blocks, is drag-and-drop system that allows users to use graphical blocks to build code, but also switch view to see the lines of code those blocks are creating. When playing classic games such as Pong or the uber-popular Minecraft, novice programmers can hack code to alter the parameters of the games – for instance size, speed and colors of game elements – in real time.”(more)

How to fix public education in America

CNN Money – Sanjay Sanghoee

” America is at war with itself. Tension between the economic classes, highlighted by venture capitalist Tom Perkins’ recent remarks, are escalating. But what we need are solutions, not words. Recriminations only polarize us further and make it harder to work collectively toward the common goal of prosperity.”(more)

Wisconsin private schools gear up for voucher program

The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel – Erin Richards

“On the heels of Gov. Scott Walker signing into law the 2013-’15 state budget — and the provision for a statewide private-school voucher program — private schools are mobilizing to participate and meet a rapidly approaching set of deadlines.”(more)