Through its education investments, the Australian aid program engages the private sector in diverse ways ranging from informal collaboration to formal partnering arrangements.
Businesses can be both suppliers and beneficiaries of education. They are involved across all sectors, from early childhood education to technical and vocational training centres.
The private sector is engaged as partners to support efforts to deliver high quality learning outcomes that are relevant and appropriate, yielding citizens able to meet the needs of local and regional employers.
Partnerships with private providers to improve education quality include:
- The All Children Reading partnership (with USAID and World Vision) supports innovative approaches (mainly through applying technology) to improve early grade literacy. The initiative has leveraged a range of contacts and attracted subsidiary partners like the Gates Foundation, IREX, Intel, Orange and Google Books bringing in $5 million additional private sector and donor funding.
- In Indonesia, the ‘Madrasah Accreditation’ activity (see DFAT’s Education Assistance in Indonesia, and Indonesia Aid Program Performance Report 2013-14) works with mainly privately-run Madrasah schools helping them to meet the quality standards required for accreditation. Through support for teacher training, improved learning environments, and enhanced management and leadership skills the activity is improving the quality of education for 250,000 children.
- DFAT is partnering with the Australian Council for Educational Research’s (ACER) Centre for Global Education Monitoring to improve monitoring of learning. ACER is an independent educational research centre with self-generating income. This partnership is enabling countries in our region to access technical advice from a global leader on assessment. The Melbourne-based organisation is also using the new centre-based approach to consolidate lessons across its portfolio of work, and then shared with the broader education research community.
- The Australia-Pacific Technical College delivers Pacific Islands’ graduates with internationally recognised technical and vocational qualifications making them more employable locally, regionally and in the international job market. Training is delivered through partnerships with Australian and Pacific Island industry associations, firms, private training providers and government training institutions. There is ongoing collaboration with employers of past, current and future students, and many students have received financial support from their industry employer, which subsequently benefit from higher quality outputs.
- The Timor-Leste Skills Development and Employment Project focuses on building skills to ensure productive employment, including pursuing self-employment and opportunities overseas. Job placements, apprenticeships and other training programs will be developed through private sector collaboration; funding and direct linkages with employers will ensure graduates secure gainful employment in local settings.
Read more about DFAT’s investment priorities: Education.