Engaging Non-State Schools
The USAID 2018 Education Policy recognizes the role of non-state institutions in improving learning and educational outcomes in alignment with national education sector plans. The policy further supports the need to strengthen local ownership and sustainability in education provided by both state and non-state actors. The USAID Center for Education has developed six guidelines in the Good Practice Brief on Engaging Non-State Schools to inform agency stakeholders on incorporating non-state schools.
The Six Guiding Principles for Engaging Non-State Schools
- Governments are the guarantors of education, but they are not the only provider or financier of education. USAID’s support for non-state schools is targeted towards providers who are committed to accountability to governments, parents, and students.
- Governments play an important role in ensuring non-state schools are regulated.
- The majority of USAID’s financial resources and technical assistance remains committed to public education. When resources are directed towards non-state educators, USAID’s focus is on schools serving marginalized and vulnerable populations and seeking to catalyze innovation and scalable solutions in alignment with government priorities.
- Consistent with USAID’s 2018 Education Policy and support to public schools, USAID’s support to non-state schools is focused on access, equity, quality, inclusion, sustainability, and relevance of education.
- USAID’s support to non-state schools is focused on contexts where demand already exists and USAID can support existing local systems.
- As both a provider of education and an offeror of ancillary services, the for-profit, private sector is only one stakeholder in the education system, alongside governments, civil society, parents, and students. Viewing education systems holistically and engaging all stakeholders can help achieve sustainability.
Although the majority of USAID’s financial resources and technical assistance remain committed to public education, USAID acknowledges the important complementary role that non-state schools can play. For non-state solutions to be scalable and sustainable, it is critical to have deep engagement with a broad set of local stakeholders. Activities should lead to quality, equitable, and inclusive access to education and align with host-country government priorities. The growing demand for non-state schools presents an opportunity to fill education gaps while alleviating some of the burden on public systems. When it comes to engaging the non-state sector, it is important for stakeholders to consider the need for better-facilitated partnerships between the public and private sectors, the need for strategic financing for the provision of education, and the need for more rigorous evaluations and data collection on non-state providers.