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PO Box A524
Sydney South NSW 1235, Level 11, 227 Elizabeth Street Sydney NSW 2000

Telephone: 1800 812 164

© 2024 Opportunity International AustraliaABN 83 003 805 043

Rewrite the future through

School fee loans make education more accessible, while loans to schools help leaders provide higher quality education to their communities.

Nearly 1 in 5 school-aged children are out of school.

3 out of 5

A quality education is a fundamental human right. Every additional year of education generates a 7.6% increase in a child’s future earnings – helping to break the cycle of poverty. For those living in poverty, quality education is far too often a luxury that families simply cannot afford.

Although government schools are often low-cost or free, many suffer from overcrowding, underfunding, chronic teacher absenteeism, strikes or bureaucracy issues that make it nearly impossible for students to learn even basic literacy or numeracy skills. Low-cost, entrepreneur-run private and community schools are a fast-growing solution, but come with issues of their own – school fees and textbooks are expected to be paid as a lump sum at the start of the year, a sum that can be too costly for families living day-to-day. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the barriers to education for children in poor communities – many of whom face significant learning losses and may never return to school.

That's where education loans come in.

Small loans help by giving parents the option of paying school fees and associated costs for uniforms and textbooks up front at the start of the school year, allowing them to pay this back in small, regular instalments. School fee loans make school fees manageable, encouraging families to prioritise their children's education and providing the tools to do so. School fee loans are providing families with the ability to spread out the costs of sending their children back to school while they recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic.

School improvement loans help create quality classrooms in low-cost community schools, allowing school administrators to improve the quality of education they provide. Affordable, independent schools will play a crucial role in filling gaps in education systems, recovering learning losses and ensuring access to quality education beyond the pandemic. Alongside the funding that allows them to invest in better infrastructure or resources, school leaders are supported to continually improve the quality of the education they provide through Opportunity's EduQuality program.

With access to quality education, the next generation has the chance to break free from the cycle of poverty for good.

How you can help invest in better education

School Fee Loans give parents the option of paying school fees and associated costs in small repayments throughout the year instead of a lump sum, allowing them to prioritise education.

School Improvement Loans help schools provide higher quality education by allowing them to invest in infrastructure, teaching and learning aids and other equipment that facilitates better learning opportunities.

Education Quality support to school leaders helps to continually improve the quality of the education that community schools are helping provide.

In 2023, we helped 

43,458 families

use school fee loans to educate their children in India, Indonesia and Pakistan.

Acu's story

Getting back to school after COVID-19

In a small village in West Java, Indonesia, 19-year-old Acu suffered through 68 weeks of school closures when he was trying to finish his final years of vocational high school. Acu lives in a makeshift home with his parents and seven-year-old sister Mila. The family sleep on a hard piece of wood that serves as a bed each night. His mother Acih and father Namin are banana farmers, but they only earn Rp.800,000 (A$77) a week to provide food, shelter, clothing and other necessities for their whole family. They never studied past primary school.

For Acu, finishing school with the challenges of COVID-19 looked impossible. But then Acih and Namin received an education loan of Rp.5,000,000 (A$485). Where poverty had prohibited them from being able to invest in their son’s education, the loan meant that they could now pay Acu’s school fees and access supplies for him to continue to study at home while school was closed.

Thanks to a school loan, Acu was able to continue learning Mathematics, Indonesian and Civics alongside his favourite subject Light Vehicle Engineering – his dream vocation. Through our EduFinance program, Opportunity provides vulnerable children like Acu with the opportunity to receive a quality education, equipping them for careers where they can earn sustainable incomes and break the cycle of poverty.

Opportunity does this by providing school fee loans to help parents afford school fees, uniforms and textbooks, allowing them to pay back the loan in small, regular instalments they can afford. We also provide school improvement loans which enable school administrators to invest in infrastructure and classroom upgrades, access technology and enhance learning practices in order to increase the quality of the education they provide.

Research has established that 48 per cent of parents in Central, East and West Java (where Acu is from) would appreciate an education loan to help them finance their children’s schooling. For many of these families, these education loans may be their only option. Without them, their children may never return to class.

Thanks to the generosity of Opportunity supporters, Acu has now graduated high school. He is doing additional practical training in workshops, and hopes to become an engineer at Astra, Southeast Asia’s largest independent automotive group.

Of the loan their family received, Acu’s mother Acih says: “Before we didn’t know how to get a step up in life. This education loan helped us for my son’s future. Seeing our children passionate about their education is our thanks – it is enough for us to get us through the other worries in life.”

Opportunity International US implements the Education program in 25 countries and along with Opportunity International Australia, is part of the broader Opportunity International Network. 

Opportunity International Australia provides funding to support the Education program in five countries in Asia.


You can help today.

Each $10 you give can reach 1 child with better education in Asia.

Donate today to help Opportunity International Australia provide access to better education so that more children can reach their potential and live empowered lives, free from poverty.