During this time, Professor Tooley has been continuing the practical application of his research in low-cost private education around the world, as well as continuing to write and publish in this area. From September 2015 to August 2016, he was living in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, an ideal hub for spending most of his time in Africa and India. From September 2016 he has been based in Honduras, creating a chain of low-cost private schools there and exploring the potential for low-cost private schools in Central America.
Creating a chain of low-cost private schools for GEMS Education in Uganda
From Dubai, Tooley created a new chain of low-cost private schools in Uganda for GEMS Education, at the personal request of Sunny Varkey. The chain opened its first two schools in Kampala in February 2016, and is set to expand to 9 schools by February 2017.
With KG children at Twin School, Seeta, Uganda
With children at Twin School, Seeta, Uganda
Omega Schools, a fully sustainable chain of low-cost private schools in Ghana
Tooley also continued his work with Omega Schools, Ghana, the chain of low-cost private schools he cofounded in 2008. The company has received only $3 million in total in investment in that period, but is now fully sustainable. Its portfolio of school buildings and land is worth $3.5 million. It is the first replicable model of a chain of low-cost private schools in Africa. It currently has 38 schools in Ghana, enrolling 14,000 students. It is also taken over 19 schools in Liberia, as part of a Government of Liberia initiative. Tooley has been helping to improve the quality of provision in the schools as it seeks further investment to continue its growth path. Last year’s Ghana school leaving exam (the Basic Education Certificate Examination, BECE) gave pleasing results. For the 700 Omega Junior High School pupils who took the exam, the pass rate on average was 10 percentage points higher than the national average.
The company now is seeking $2.5 million in further investment to enable it to grow to 100 schools and beyond.
Talking to parents in Awetu Breku about what Omega schools have to offer
With children at Omega School Bajwiase
Leading private school association in Nigeria creating chain of low-cost private schools
Prof Tooley has also been working with the Association of Formidable Educational Development (AFED), the leading association of low-cost private schools in Nigeria. The federation has 5,000 low-cost private schools as members, serving nearly 1 million children. Tooley has been advising the federation on creating its own chain of schools, known as HeadHigh, which will open its first schools in January 2017.
Exploring the potential for creating a new school, Lagos
With Adeyinka (third from left), the CEO of HeadHigh, and community members
Indian chains continue development
Progress continues to be made in India, with Empathy Learning Systems flourishing in Hyderabad, and Cadmus Schools growing in Gujarat. Particularly notable is the success of the Cadmus private school in the fishing village of Sikkha which was funded by Tooley. In one year it has grown to have enrolment of 1,050 students, and provides the model for further expansion in Gujarat and beyond.
With the Cadmus team in Jamnagar, India
Explorations in Central America – creating a new Cadmus brand of low-cost private schools
Tooley is currently based in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where he is partnering to create a new chain of low-cost private schools in Central America. Cadmus Academies is currently running two schools, but is investing heavily in development of a “blended learning” model. This will enable all children to work for a large part of the time at their own pace using tablet technology; at other times they will do group work solving real problems, independent reading, and traditional classroom learning.
With the Cadmus team