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Best Practices voor een duurzame toekomst
12 februari 2005

Companies improve educational skills in public schools

The private sector is willing to invest in institutes for vocational training for upgrading the skills of the teachers as well as the employability of the students. In Ghana, the Dutch companies Vlisco (textiles) and Heineken (beer), together with almost a dozen local enterprises, are prepared to invest in educational institutes to get a higher level of technically skilled personnel. The companies are not only ready to deliver the money but also the students. The Dutch consultancy Sunsia, specialized in connecting Dutch and African companies to achieve sustainable development, is in the final stages of setting up a private-public partnership between those parties. Ghana will be the first pilot-project, to be followed by comparable initiatives in Senegal, Burkina Faso and Mali. Peter Oomen from Sunsia: "Investing in knowledge and skills centres is really a way out of poverty." In Uganda, another partnership for vocational training is looming. The Kent Foundation College, a technical school with one hundred students from poor communities and far too little teachers, is partnering with local companies to upgrade the educational level and double the capacity of the school. The Dutch company Blue Link (which matches businesses and development projects) presented this case at the Business in Development-seminar. Blue Link searches for people who could assist in improving the contents and administration of the school. The Business in Development-seminars, organized by P+, the Royal Institute for the Tropics and the NCDO, serve as a kind of market place for entrepreneurs and potential partners in the field of science, education and development cooperation. A real match already has been found between tourist company TUI and development organisation Terre des Hommes. They will participate in setting up a hotel school in Sri Lanka, together with their local partner Small Fishers Federation. Part of the plan is building a small-scale ecological tourist centre at the Weerawila Lake. P+ Webtip: Business in Development (BID)
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