Pearson to spend £33m on education in emerging markets

Pearson to spend £33m on education in emerging markets

Pearson plans to invest £33m in education initiatives in the world's emerging markets. 

The education publisher has revealed it will invest £33m ($50m) in the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund to provide education to low-income learners around the world.

The fund launched in 2012 with £15m of capital and has already invested in education start-ups in South Africa, Ghana, India and the Philippines. The extra £33m of funding aims to help “millions” of additional students by 2020, the company said, by providing financial backing, good governance and operational support to education entrepreneurs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Pearson chief executive John Fallon said: "Every parent wants the best possible education for their children. Yet, around the world, one in 10 children don't attend primary school because high-quality schools just aren't available. The Pearson Affordable Learning Fund has already shown it is possible to address this challenge by making low-cost, high-quality schools and services accessible to parents in the developing world. We are tripling our investment in the Fund because we know that this approach works, and makes a transformative difference to lives across the world."

Katelyn Donnelly, m.d. of the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund, said: "The Pearson Affordable Learning Fund supports the brightest entrepreneurs aiming to transform education in the developing world. Our much-needed capital helps improve standards and push for scale to benefit those learners who are most in need of a world-class education. We believe that start-up culture can inject innovation and determination into some of the world's toughest educational systems."

Fallon and Pearson chief education adviser Sir Michael Barber will set out their plans in more detail during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which runs from January 21st-24th. Pearson will also bring together business, political and civil society leaders at Davos to discuss the scope for new action and collaboration on global literacy through Project Literacy, the company said. 

Pearson launched Project Literacy, which aims to improve literacy levels across the world in the next five years, via social media in September. Today the company said it would be announcing literacy partnerships within the next six months.

In March last year, Bertelsmann launched a £30m educational technology fund in Brazil called BR Education Ventures, to help the company take “next step in the education sector”, which it describes as a “global growth market”.