Self-Sufficient Schools – A New Paradigm
|At its simplest a Self-Sufficient School is one that generates enough income to cover the costs of providing a quality education to its students.
Where refining skills is aimed at delivering a product or service of marketable quality – from honey or maize to running a hotel – the natural next step is to actually make and sell this product or service. Schools rarely have difficulties finding a use for income generated in this way!
Although it requires a substantial effort to create a demonstration business environment for teaching purposes, it is often proportionately not much harder to produce and deliver the same product or service on a much larger scale.
In developing countries where commercial enterprises often lack the very skills being taught, scaling up can justifiably result in greater productivity than the market norm.
When each activity across a school’s curriculum is taught in this manner – being effectively run as a profitable business unit – financial self-sufficiency becomes a realistic prospect.
Self-sufficiency is really just a means to an end – to providing a quality vocational education that opens up prospects for graduates to earn a decent living, and create jobs for others.
There is another valuable benefit of maintaining self-sufficiency as a goal – institutional fitness.
Self-sufficient schools are denied the complacency of institutions which can rely on regular funding irrespective of performance. Like regular businesses they must adapt, innovate, and constantly renew themselves just to stand still.
The discipline this requires serves as an inspiration to students, and ensures of necessity that the education they receive is focussed on skills from which they can earn a livelihood.
We’ve now shown with our fully Self-Sufficient School in Paraguay that Education That Pays For Itself is more than a theory – it is a great way to build a strong institution that creates economically successful graduates from the children of low income families.
Information and Media taken from Teach a Man to Fish website @:http://www.teachamantofish.org.uk/selfsufficientschools.php