The Social Problem
More than 1bn people are denied access to quality education which is crucial for long-term improvement in quality of life. Quality education is key to employment, sustainable income levels, personal development and participation in the community.
To date, approaches to foster education in rural areas of emerging economies have failed to be effective and sustainable in the long term. Existing initiatives are often contemplated as isolated interventions, lacking to collaborate with other stakeholders across sectors.
The public sector runs schools or vocational trainings that are community-based, but they often provide low quality education and are financially not sustained. The private sector sets up some for-profit schools mainly in urban areas, thus they are limited in reach, lack quality, do not integrate the community and primarily aim for profit. On the other hand, local initiatives and international NGO’s focus on social goals, however they usually are dependent on donations, limited in reach and lack an effective follow-up. By focusing on number of schools or libraries opened, number of teaching material shipped or number of teachers trained, they often don’t take into account how the inputs are being used and converted within the local systems. Furthermore, development interventions during the last decades have created an attitude of expectation for help in Mongolia, Cambodia and Sri Lanka rather than empowering local communities to develop their own future.
Experience from the past decades shows, that many resources and efforts have been misspent due to lack of understanding of local needs and lack of collaboration of key stakeholders. By combining existing resources, facilitating collaboration across sectors, introducing an entrepreneurial approach and empowering local people BOOKBRIDGE is able to break existing silos and create a new integrative educational landscape.