Designing Effective Public-Private Partnerships in Education (News and Research 321)

Designing effective public-private partnerships in education

To be effective, public-private partnerships (PPPs) in education, need to be innovative, hold schools accountable, empower parents and students, and promote diverse educational institutions. A clear legal and regulatory framework is crucial to achieving a sustainable solution. Best practice would include rigorous impact evaluation to find out what works, how and for whom.

Partnership here is interpreted widely and all-encompassing: Non-state/private providers include independent schools, non-governmental organizations, faith-based providers, as well as fee-charging private schools. However, the partnerships envisaged are underpinned by a common goal, risk sharing, and a commitment to raising achievement for the most under-served in society.

More specifically, PPPs in education need to:

  • Encourage innovation by providers: Most high achieving countries allow their schools substantial autonomy over managing resources, personnel, and educational content.
  • Hold providers accountable: If schools are given autonomy over decision making, they must be held accountable for the outputs they produce.
  • Empowering parents and students: Options for parents and students should not depend on wealth or student ability.
  • Promote diversity of supply: By facilitating market entry for a more diverse set of providers, governments can increase the responsibility for results, as providers subsequently become directly accountable to citizens as well as to the state.

The best PPPs in education include an enhanced role for beneficiaries, more opportunities for non-state actors, and an evolved role for government, moving from provider to financier and steward of the sector.

Design matters

Seoul education office to reduce students’ COVID-19-related learning loss | Seoul’s education office plans to spend about 80 billion won (US$62.9 million) this year to help make up for students’ learning loss caused by COVID-19.

Learning losses in Poland. The learning loss caused by school closures is not just a problem for students here and now. They can have a huge impact on the labor market and GDP. Experts from the University of Warsaw and the World Bank leave no illusions. Their report, based on the PISA research supervised by the OECD, shows that remote education during the pandemic will affect future generations of employees. There will also be losses for the entire economy. Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, a leading policy focused newspaper in Poland, published a comprehensive article based on our latest report titled Capturing the Educational and Economic Impacts of School Closures in Poland. In the report, the effect of school closures in the spring of 2020 on the math, science, and reading skills of secondary school students in Poland is estimated. The COVID-19-induced school closures lasted 26 weeks in Poland, one of Europe’s longest periods of shutdown. Comparison of the learning outcomes with pre- and post-COVID-19 samples shows that the learning loss was equal to more than one year of study. Assuming a 45-year working life of the total affected population, the economic loss in future student earnings may amount to 7.2 percent of Poland’s gross domestic product.

A review of outcomes-based financing in 2022 and beyond | While 2022 saw a return to pre-pandemic normalcy in many regards, the economic and social upheavals around the world due to the pandemic continue to reverberate. The ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well other political crises and environmental shocks, have only exacerbated these effects. The IMF estimates that global growth will be just 3.2 percent in 2022, down from 6 percent in 2021. Over the past year at Brookings, we have continued to track innovative funding mechanisms–global impact bonds–and have published research and participated in events on the topic around the globe. Additionally, our research this past year has continued to focus on data for achieving outcomes in education and early childhood development. Below, we summarize the highlights from the impact bonds market and our work this past year and take a look forward to 2023.

Dispatch from COP27: Harnessing education for effective climate action | When Nigerian educator and climate activist Temilade Salami first became interested in climate change, she set out to see what books or resources were available on the subject. After searching in many bookstores around Nigeria, she found just one book and was dismayed to discover that its contents “ looked nothing like the realities of [her] people.” If there were no books about climate change that spoke to the challenges faced in Nigeria, where would the new generation of leaders needed to address climate change come from and how would they be prepared to take on leadership roles? Temilade set out to change that by developing an accessible climate education book for Nigerian children. Her book features illustrations of black people and examples of the environmental challenges faced in the region.

Dreams and Barriers: Aspirations, Expectations, and Schooling Outcomes of Indonesian Students | High aspirations for their future motivate youth to strive toward them and achieve better outcomes. However, the influence of perceived constraints on the motivational power of aspirations is unclear: do high aspirations motivate independently of constraints or only when expected constraints seem workable? This paper explores this question with a gender lens and using a large, cross-sectional survey of adolescent students in Indonesia. The findings show that most students aspire to high education levels, but only half of the students expect to complete the level to which they aspire. Although girls have higher aspirations than boys, girls are less likely to expect to achieve their aspirations. Years of aspired education are strongly correlated with better current schooling outcomes (grades and attendance), and while expectations are also associated with better schooling outcomes, the relationship is nonlinear. Aspirations seem to motivate students despite their perceived constraints, unless there is a large gap between their aspirations and expectations. Although there are similar patterns for boys and girls, aspirations are more correlated with boys’ attendance, and expectations are more strongly related to boys’ grades and attendance. Students cite both mental barriers and economic constraints to achieving their aspirations, especially the latter for girls. The results suggest that both male and female Indonesian students could benefit from programs that boost aspirations and address psychological and economic constraints.

Factors Explaining Child Work and Education in Myanmar | Child workers constitute a significant share of the Myanmar labor force, which has translated into an unprotected child labor market. Given the prevalence of issues surrounding school enrollment and dropout rates, this paper investigates the relationship between child work and education. Using data from the 2015 Labor Force survey, it studies what factors explain child work and how this can in turn affect schooling outcomes. The study differentiates between children’s household chores and wage work. To understand if these two types of activities affect schooling differently, the paper explores if and how work intensity (number of hours worked) plays a role. The findings show that child work has a negative correlation with school enrollment and attendance, to differing degrees depending on the type of work and work intensity, regardless of gender. Overall, wage work is negatively correlated with enrollment and attendance disproportionately more than household chores. Work intensity seems to play a smaller role, but it still matters when looking at girls’ participation in household chores. Working long hours does not seem to have a link with the likelihood of being enrolled and attending school, although it could affect learning outcomes as it reduces the amount of time dedicated to homework and study. However, the data source being some years old, the analysis may not fully reflect the most recent economic and social developments and conditions in Myanmar.