IDP Rising Schools Program plans to add 450 more schools by 2023: Irene Pritzker
The IDP Foundation is a private non-profit foundation dedicated to encouraging and supporting the development of innovative and sustainable solutions to complex global issues. Specifically, we support local and international partners who innovate, develop and see progress in all forms of learning, from critical medical research to classroom education.
In an interaction with Devdiscourse, Irene Pritzker, a founding member and President of the IDP Foundation, talks about their IDP Rising Schools Program that is aimed to empower existing low-fee private schools across Ghana.
- What are the main areas of operation of your organization/ company?
The IDP Foundation, Inc. (IDPF) is a private non-profit foundation dedicated to encouraging and supporting the development of innovative and sustainable solutions to complex global issues. We work primarily in the areas of education and education finance.
Our keystone initiative is the IDP Rising Schools Program (IDPRSP), a groundbreaking education finance and training initiative created to empower existing low-fee private schools across Ghana.
- How, according to you, is your organization contributing to achieving any one or more SDGs?
We have identified that our work fits at the intersection of many SDGs, but the IDP Rising Schools Program relates directly to SDGs 4 and 17 to achieve equitable quality education for all and to mobilize our resources within multi-stakeholder partnerships.
The IDPRSP is centrally related to target 4a because it was started to facilitate the building and upgrading of education facilities to be safe and effective learning environments.
Through the provision of loans through our partnership with a local microfinance institution, low-fee private schools in Ghana have been able to contribute towards the indicators 4.a.1 by increasing the proportion of schools with electricity, computers, and internet for pedagogical purposes, adapted infrastructure and materials for students with disabilities, basic drinking water, single-sex basic sanitation facilities, and basic handwashing facilities.
In early 2017, we also incorporated alignment with the SDGs into our impact investment practices. We proactively gather data from individual fund impact reports and fund managers to create a profile that systematically measures each impact fund according to the SDGs.
- So far, what are the main achievements of your organization in line to the SDGs set up by the United Nations for the year 2030?
The impact of the IDPRSP and the IDP Foundation is a testament to the importance of SDG 17, mobilizing resources in multi-stakeholder partnerships. Our partnerships with Sinapi Aba Savings and Loan, Ghana's Ministry of Education, Education Partnership Group, and others are critical towards achieving success on these global development goals.
Additionally, one of the targets under SDG 8 to achieve good jobs and economic growth seeks to: 'Strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking, insurance and financial services for all.' The IDP Rising Schools Program is serving as a model for other financial institutions to provide much-needed banking services to social entrepreneurs in education and contribute to other SDGs to improve educational quality and reduce poverty. By seeking alliances with private providers to bridge gaps in finance provision and skills development, IDPF's core mission is to provide investments and grants to empower social enterprises to solve some of the world's most pressing issues that are addressed by the SDGs.
- What are the recent initiatives/innovations your organization has made in line to the SDGs?
Our Techniques for Effective Teaching partnership with Sesame Workshop is related to SDG 4 target 4C to increase the supply of qualified teachers through international cooperation for teacher training.
The in-service training program offers unqualified teachers working in low-fee private schools the fundamentals of child development and child-centered classroom management skills. It contributes towards the targets 4.c.1 by increasing the proportion of teachers in primary education, who have received at least the minimum organized teacher training (e.g. pedagogical training) pre-service or in-service required for teaching at the relevant level in each country.
- What is your strategy for further expansion of your organization at national and/or international level?
The IDP Rising Schools Program plans to add 450 more schools by 2023. We also plan to build our advocacy efforts through partnerships with other strong organizations that understand the importance of including LFPS in international conversations.
IDPF will continue aligning our future impact investments with all the SDGs.
- Where do you want to see your organization by 2030?
By 2030, we would like to see our Theory of Change in action, to see governments effectively partner with, support, and regulate LFPS and for education practitioners and donors to effectively integrate and support the LFPS sector in strategy and practice locally, nationally, and globally.