Indonesia, the Philippines and Pakistan
Data to June 2021
In the first half of 2021, loan disbursements improved after the dip and disruption of 2020.
In India, Opportunity EduFinance completed a strategic assessment of its model and opportunities. It found the 400,000 local, low-cost non-state schools need more capital investment and professional development training to continue providing quality education for the 128.2 million children attending those schools. An additional 32.5 million children are out of school and they could potentially benefit if the sector grew and their parents had access to a loan to cover school fees.
Research conducted by EduFinance and KPMG India is informing how barriers to finance and needs for professional development are being addressed in a new program model. The study surveyed 100 schools across nine states, 16 professional development organisations, as well as financial institutions and regional school associations.
The sector will need to undergo change to overcome the effects of COVID-19 (85 per cent schools globally closed at peak of pandemic).
In Pakistan, 16 million school children are enrolled in non-government schools (almost 35 percent of total enrollments). A further 19 million children remain out of school and low educational attainment is particularly the case for many girls. Over the past three years, EduFinance has established a strong network of financial institutions and other educational partners in Pakistan. A new EduQuality pilot was launched with All Pakistan Private Schools Federation using a train-the-trainers model to build the skills of 100 local staff.
In reference to COVID-19, we’ve seen that it’s exacerbated existing inequalities. I often hear people say about COVID-19 that the pandemic is an equalizer, but I couldn’t think of anything that’s further from the truth.” - Renée McAplin, Director EduQuality
Included in the total are 75 school improvement loans that were issued by newly participating financial institution Taleem Finance Company in Pakistan. In addition to school improvement loans, Taleem provides school fee loans to parents so they can send their children to school, as well as loans to tertiary institutions to improve the facilities. In Pakistan, 128 schools participated in the EduQuality Program.
Education Partner Summary, Asia
(no. of financial institutions)
Number of active education loans by type
Value of loan outstanding by type (USD)1
106,338 school fee loans to families
4,195 school improvement loans
75 school fee loans to families
5,128 school fee loans to families
|Philippines (1)||4 school improvement loans||$28,997|
|Nepal (1)||33 school improvement loans||$12,184|
COVID-19 is often described as both a health crisis and an economic crisis but it is also an education crisis, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable children. COVID-19 resulted in full or partial school closures that affected two in three students one year into the crisis. An estimated 101 million more children than before the pandemic failed to demonstrate basic reading skills and nearly two thirds of the children falling behind live in Asia. The longer students miss school the higher the likelihood that they may never return, putting them at increased risk of child labour and child marriage.1
At the same time, Governments have less funding available for education since the start of the pandemic making a focus on non-state low-fee schools even more important in efforts to get students back on track after a catastrophic year for education.
The financial service sector creates value for customers by solving monetary challenges in their lives and the pandemic has clearly created more challenges for many clients. For education finance, this has created an environment for innovation in the two most prominent loan products used globally: school improvement loans and school fee loans.
It has also increased the urgency to explore financing beyond these options and diversify products to cater for the entire ecosystem by offering a full suite of financial services.
We have seen an increased emphasis on recognising and addressing the importance of teachers, schools and students having access to data, digital devices and knowledge of how to use them. When schools reopen and-face to-face learning resumes, the demand for e-learning is expected to continue. Technology may be able fill learning gaps.
Future strategy includes:
- New products / diversification
- Pilot evaluations
- Grants / CSR
1 The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2021 https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2021/The-Sustainable-Development-Goals-Report-2021.pdf
Opportunity International US implements the Education Program in 25 countries and along with Opportunity Australia, is part of the broader Opportunity International Network.
Opportunity Australia provides funding to support the Education Program in five countries in Asia.
Your support is empowering these women—and millions more like them—to create a new future for their families, free from poverty.
"I spend everything on my daughters’ education."
– Sindhu, Nagpur
Sindhu and Sikkander knew they wanted to educate all of their five daughters, no matter what the cost. Taking out yearly school fee loans made this education possible.
"My daughter came first in the whole school!"
– Madhuri, Nagpur
Madhuri used to worry about how they would afford school fees for her children, Ria (4) and Yesh (5). Thanks to a school fee loan, she doesn’t worry about that any longer.
"Thank you for understanding what we wanted."
– Charanjeet, Dongargarh
Charanjeet's youngest son, Mandeep, is a talented student with dreams of becoming an engineer. A school fee loan is making his dreams possible.