About the Conference
Education That Pays For Itself 2009, a unique international conference on financially sustainable education, will take place from the 8th to 10th of December 2009 in the Yachana Lodge, Ecuador.
Yachana Foundation, this year’s conference host, runs a pioneering Technical High School which serves a dispersed and often marginalized indigenous community living the Amazon region. Increasingly funded by business ventures which create learning opportunities for its students, Yachana is a great example of Education That Pays For Itself in practice.
The conference will bring together up to 100 delegates – including educators, development practitioners, academics, business people, international institutions, & donors – in the third event dedicated to the rapidly-advancing field of sustainable education.
This year's conference theme, “Income Generation for Education ” recognizes the double role of school businesses, in providing a real-life learning enviroment, and as a source of program funding.
Creating the kind of financial resources needed to achieve complete sustainability may take several years, yet it is a goal that can be reached – as evidenced by some of the approaches which will be highlighted during the event.
Institutional sustainability, however, is only a means to an end. A major focus of the conference will be how the changes required to target financial self-sufficiency can be used to support improvements in the quality of learning - equipping young people with the skills, knowledge and attitudes to succeed in life.
“I will be getting started and practice what I preach by replicating the TAMTF model in 30 schools in Zambia by 2010”
Beatrice Situmbeko, Zambia - Education That Pays For Itself 2008 Delegate
What is Education That Pays For Itself?
‘Education That Pays For Itself’ involves the use of profit-making businesses to teach students practical and business skills in a real-life context and reinvest school-generated income in their facilities and staff.
By adopting such an approach, schools can expand their financial resources which, in turn, will enable them both to improve the quality of education they provide and increase its availability.
Financially Self-Sufficient Schools
An inspirational example of a Financially Self-Sufficient School is the San Francisco Agricultural School in Cerrito, Paraguay. This school - run by the Fundación Paraguaya a local NGO - has not only achieves exceptional educational results, but remarkable financial performance as well.
- Within two months of graduation, 100% of the class of 2008 was studying at university, had found good jobs in the modern agricultural sector, was implementing business plans on their family farms, or working as extension agents and transferring their skills to rural communities—a stellar achievement for recent high school graduates from low-income, rural backgrounds in a job market with few opportunities for youth!
- Although the school takes no government money and charges virtually no fees, income from the sale of goods & services by school businesses allowed it to achieve 100% financially self-sufficient at the end of 2007 - and to maintain this since.
For more information on this school click here.
Education That Pays For Itself reaches its natural conclusion in the Financially Self-Sufficient School, where a school covers all its operational costs – as well as depreciation costs – through income from its education-oriented school businesses. See box right for more info.
How does this link in with Sustainable Education?
While the principal focus of the conference is on Education That Pays For Itself, it also provides a forum for the international movement for Sustainable Education. This broader field includes not only Education That Pays For Itself approaches, but also fee-based and hybrid models designed to meet the educational needs of poorer communities in developing countries.
What are the benefits of the conference?
Participants will have an unrivalled opportunity to:
- Learn from the practitioners whose pioneering schools provide inspirational case studies for how Education That Pays For Itself can transform traditional education
- Showcase their work, inspiring others with their experiences, and contributing to the development of new approaches
- Share their challenges, find solutions, and develop future plans at specially designed consultancy clincs.
- Network with fellow participants and establish new collaborative relationships
At this ground-breaking event, participants will play an important role in building a shared understanding of how schools can achieve financial self-sufficiency through integrating education and entrepreneurship, as well in determining the future direction for such Sustainable Education approaches in the years to come.
The conference will focus on the following topics:
1. The Business of Income Generation
- Effective institutional models combining education with income generation
- Business planning for education programs & income generation strategies
- Balancing educational, entrepreneurial and community development goals
- Financial management & reporting, case studies & practical approaches
- Start-up on a shoe-string & funding strategies
2. Learning for Earning
- Practical approaches to teaching entrepreneurship
- Integrating ‘learning by doing’ into traditional curricula
- Designing curricula that meet market opportunities
- Working with and around government
- The role of technology in learning and earning
Who should attend the conference?
Anyone who is interested in how entrepreneurship can be used to improve the quality and availability of education is welcome to attend. We especially encourage attendance by:
- Principals, heads and leaders of educational institutions of all levels and sectors
- Non-government organizations and associations working in education
- Multi-lateral and national development agencies
- International, national and state education system policy-makers
- Business and industry employer and training organizations
- Foundations, philanthropists and social investors with an interest in education
- Teachers, educators and trainers
- Academics and researchers in education
- Community and indigenous organizations, both formal and non-formal
- Young people
Find out how it can work, why it works, and how you can bring these ideas and lessons learned into your own work.
Register Now : Call for Proposals