The Finance work stream aims to create incentives for collaboration between Financial Service Providers (FSPs), schools and parents. It also aims to find sustainable ways to build capacity among the schools themselves to improve their financial access and practices.

Finance represents a major obstacle for low-cost private schools, so DEEPEN will engage the financial sector to stimulate the provision of affordable services and products around education. This could include saving schemes, mobile money payments, school loans and financial management training. Such interventions will help parents to minimise the effect of erratic incomes and increase their capacity to pay fees, while simultaneously enhancing school cash flow to meet costs and invest in long-term improvements in services and infrastructure. The programme will support existing and potential service providers to offer tailored product pilots and increase both schools’ and parents’ longer-term ability to handle their finances more effectively.

The Finance work stream will focus on these activities:

Saving Schemes for Parents

We will capture and share information about parental demand with banks and other FSPs to highlight the scope for new products or distribution channels to incentivise savings for education. There is currently limited awareness and understanding among FSPs on the opportunities in the private education market, despite the size of this market and the fact that many parents cite their children’s education as a key reason for saving.

 

Mobile Money as Payment Scheme for School Fees

DEEPEN will facilitate the financial market to provide a system that enables parents to pay school fees using their mobile phones. Specifically the programme will explore initial interest among mobile money operators, parents and schools. DEEPEN will then work to sensitise all stakeholders to the anticipated benefits of the intervention.

 

Finance for Schools

We will promote the increased availability of affordable loans and financial products to schools. In addition to data on how schools handle their accounts, DEEPEN will collate information on schools’ demand for and current use of finance. The programme will then disseminate such information to MFBs and deposit money banks to highlight the potential incentives associated with lending to small or micro-sized schools. The programme will engage with FSPs to encourage them to expand their range of services and enter the private school market.

Obstacles and Constraints for School Development

Financial services (Loans to expand) 58%
School Financial Management Skills/ Capacity 15%
Cash flow management issues 38%
Not enough teachers because they are too costly 11%
Teacher skills and knowledge is too low 5%
Too much competition (schools in my location) 9%
High operational costs 16%
Teacher salary 5%

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Case Study