Does Private Education Work for the Poor?

Conference
September 8, 2005
12:00PM to 7:00PM
Auditorium/Wintergarden
Featuring James Tooley, University of Newcastle, International Financial Institution Advisory Commission, U.S. Congress; Jim Thompson, Deputy Director, Global Development Alliance, USAID; Suezan Lee, Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade Bureau, USAID; Peter Woicke, Former Head of Private Sector Development, World Bank; David Salisbury, Cato Institute; and more.
September’s United Nations summit in New York will assess progress toward the goal of achieving universal basic education by 2015. Many people argue that the only way for children in poor countries to receive a basic education is through more international aid for public schools. That view, however, ignores the crucial role that private education can play, and is already playing, in serving the educational needs of the poor. As surprising as it may be, private schools today serve some of the poorest people on the planet. This conference includes the screening of a documentary film commissioned by BBC World exploring private schools in one of the poorest slums in Africa—Makoko in Lagos, Nigeria. The film, based on the research of Professor James Tooley, shows how 75 percent of the poorest children attend private schools that are better and cheaper to run than their public school counter-parts. Interviews with parents show clearly why they prefer private schools. Footage shot in the public schools and interviews with officials in charge reinforce the reasons for that preference.Following the screening, Tooley will present the findings of a two-year global study of private schools for the poor. This will be followed by a panel discussion featuring educational entrepreneurs who run private schools for the poor in sub-Saharan Africa and India.

Conference Schedule

12:30 - 1:00 p.m. Registration

1:00 - 1:15 p.m. Welcoming Remarks
David Salisbury
Cato Institute
1:15 - 2:00 p.m. Introduction
Peter Woicke
Former Head of Private Sector Development, World Bank
2:00 - 3:15 p.m. Panel I: The Global Finding: Private Schools for the Poor
Moderator: Peter Woicke
Former Head of Private Sector Development, World Bank

James Tooley
University of Newcastle
International Financial Institution Advisory Commission, U.S. Congress

Jim Thompson
Deputy Director, Global Development Alliance, USAID

Suezan Lee
Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade Bureau, USAID
3:15 - 3:30 p.m. Break

3:30 - 4:45 p.m.

Panel II: Private School Proprietors from Africa and Asia
Moderator: James Tooley
University of Newcastle

Bawo Sabo Eliu Ayeseminikan
Ken Ade Private School, Lagos, Nigeria*

George Mikwa
Chairman KENSA, Nairobi, Kenya*

Mohammed Anwar
MA Ideal High School, Hyderabad, India *

Reshma Lohia
Lohia’s Little Angels High School, Hyderabad, India*

4:45 - 5:30 p.m. RECEPTION

* Invited