What We Do EduQuality
Education Quality Program
To impact the quality of education children receive and foster an enabling environment for learning, Opportunity EduFinance offers a holistic three-year school development program to local affordable private schools, called the 'EduQuality Program.'
Network of School Clusters
Most affordable private schools are run by sole proprietors that operate in a silo, without the benefits of a 'school system' or network of peers for mutual collaboration and learning.
To address this, we first collaborate with our financial institution partners to engage their school borrowers, inviting them to attend an Introductory Seminar. When schools agree to join the three-year EduQuality program, they self-select into clusters consisting of 6-12 schools per cluster, the model for a 'self-improving school system.' School leaders are guided through this process and encouraged to join clusters within their geographic area, ensuring they can regularly meet together to create communities of collaboration, support, and leadership development. Each cluster is supported by a local Education Specialist that provides guidance, resources and support. Over time, clusters relationships mature and increase their ownership over cluster activities and collaborations, ultimately become self-sustaining groups without reliance on the Education Specialist.
School Leadership Professional Development Training
Affordable private schools are established by entrepreneurs with a variety of education backgrounds - from business to former classroom teachers.
Similar to many business owners, school owners often self-identify as lacking certain skills that are beneficial for operating a school. As part of the EduQuality program, senior school leaders are offered professional development training with a focus on instructional leadership and management best practices.
These two-day workshops are offered several times per year covering topics that are most relevant to school leaders, including business and financial management, school marketing, teacher retention, and child protection. This training helps school owners improve their schools, both as businesses and places of learning.
Teacher Mentor Training
Teachers in affordable private schools often have a wide range of educational backgrounds, and many have had limited access to professional teacher training or ongoing professional development.
To support professionalization of the teaching workforce within affordable private schools, EduQuality is implementing a training-of-trainers model (ToT) to identify and equip teacher mentors to train their peers through professional development sessions, classroom observations and feedback, and ongoing coaching methods. The team uses a data-driven approach, combining in-person coaching and digital content to help teachers work toward a set of recognized professional standards, build their confidence, and develop in their careers.
Within each cluster, school leaders are asked to identify teacher mentors at their school using specific criteria. With the support of their school leaders, these teacher mentors are invited to attend trainings by the cluster Education Specialist on foundational teacher training topics, including pedagogy, teaching and learning, classroom management and literacy. Teacher mentors are also equipped with the skills to deliver these same professional development trainings to their peer teachers, using a clear trainer's guide provided through a digital learning management system.
Pathways to Excellence
In order to target education quality improvements it is important to first identify what education 'quality' means, which can be difficult.
To address this, we collaborated with international education experts to design Pathways to Excellence (P2E), a guide for school leaders to self-diagnose the quality of education at their school using 18 measurable indicators of school quality. P2E covers topics like school culture, school environment, teaching and learning resources, pedagogy, teacher professional development, teacher retention, school management, child-centered learning, early childhood education, behavior management and child protection.
Using the results of their self-assessment, school leaders then work with stakeholders in their school community to create a school development plan to improve upon areas of greatest need. Leaders are encouraged to target 2-5 areas for improvement each year using the action points and support resources outlined in Pathways to Excellence. Ultimately, EduQuality works to help school leaders continue building their strategic planning skills for school improvement, institutionalizing an iterative improvement process that will be sustained beyond the three year program.