IFC is freezing investments in K-12 private, fee-charging schools. This decision will apply to our direct investments, advisory work, and indirect investments resulting from new investments in private equity funds. We are taking this step in response to concerns by external stakeholders about the impact of private schools on education quality and access. In addition, we will request that the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group evaluate IFC investments in K-12 private education and review impacts on educational outcomes, access, poverty and inequality. This evaluation will be followed by an inclusive and transparent consultation process, bringing together the World Bank Group’s Board, education experts, and civil society, to determine whether there are any circumstances under which future IFC investments in private, fee-charging K-12 schools could be made.
This freeze will not impact our work to invest in new tools, such as in education technology and infrastructure, that can help improve learning and access for all students. IFC will also continue its work in higher education, including universities and vocational schools, and in early childhood services.
Demand for education is soaring. The number of higher education students is projected to more than double by 2025. Most of this growth will come from the emerging markets. While the number of children out of school globally may have dropped sharply during the 1990s, it remains unacceptably high in some regions, especially for girls. Meanwhile, youth unemployment continues to grow globally, even as employers report difficulty in finding workers with the right skills.
The evolving situation of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the resulting uncertainties are of great concern for the World Bank Group. Given the growing health considerations and to prioritize safety of all participants, we have decided to postpone the IFC 9th Global Education Conference scheduled to take place on May 27–28, in Mexico City, Mexico. The new dates are October 28–29, and the conference will still take place in Mexico City.
The impact of IFC clients in Health and Education in 2018:
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The investment proposal can be submitted to the IFC field office that is closest to the location of the proposed project.