Today, the International Development Committee (IDC) published a report on DFID’s work on education, acknowledging that DFID is a global leader, giving millions of children in the poorest and most fragile countries the vital education they need to get jobs and have a brighter future.
The Sun, the Daily Mail and The Guardian pick up on the report’s recommendations that DFID should review the effectiveness of schooling provided by Bridge Academies International – a low-cost private school model. These articles voice concerns about the UK taxpayer funding private schools in Africa.
Why does DFID support privately-run schools?
Many of the world’s poorest countries rely on privately run schools to provide an education where state provision is failing. Without privately run school millions of children would be denied an education.
Over 95% of DFID’s education programmes are focussed on improving the provision of state education for millions of children in developing countries.
DFID does not currently financially support Bridge Academies; CDC, the UK’s Development Finance Institution, has investments in Bridge Academies.
Ensuring children in developing countries get a quality education is essential to ensuring the next generation do not fall further into poverty, fuelling global instability and mass migration – problems that impact the UK at home and abroad.
A DFID spokesperson said:
“As this report recognises, the UK is giving millions of children in the poorest and most fragile countries the vital education they need to get jobs and have a brighter future. DFID is increasing its focus on getting the world’s most vulnerable children, including refugees and those with disabilities, into school.
“We recognise the scale of the challenge, which is why we are working closely with the international community to ensure all children get the education they deserve.”