Education That Pays For Itself

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. The schools then reinvest income generated 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

Education That Pays For Itself can develop into Financially Self-Sufficient Schools, where schools cover all their operational costs through income from profitable school businesses.

A Case Study in Success

La Bastilla Technical Agricultural High School is situated on a commercial coffee farm in Northern Nicaragua. It is based in a low income rural community where only 20% of young people attend secondary school and where employment opportunities are extremely limited. In 2008, in partnership with Teach A Man To Fish, La Bastilla opened as an innovative secondary school for young entrepreneurs.

In class, students learn regular subjects like Spanish, Maths and Science - but this school is different, students learn to make money from the skills they are taught. They learn how to run a hotel at the school’s award winning eco-lodge, a chicken coop with over 3,000 hens, a dairy herd, a cheese production business and more. What is important is that these are real businesses, which make money, which pay the school’s costs. The school became self sufficient in 2016 covering 100% of its costs from school businesses! This ensures its impact is sustainable in the long term.

Through this innovative model young people in this community are gaining the skills, knowledge, and values to succeed in life. Teach A Man To Fish recently conducted a survey with graduates from 2010, 2011 and 2012, this survey showed that 94% of graduates are now in good jobs, self-employed or in further education, far above the national average.

For more information on this school click here.

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.