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Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization

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Education -- Economic aspects -- Developing countries, Education -- Economic aspects, Sustainable development


In the outskirts of Medellin, Colombia, impoverished rural schoolchildren have cause for hope. The Colombian Coffee Growers’ Association wants to hire them. Why? Because these children have developed the independent thinking, communication, and work skills that will make them an asset to the industry. They developed these skills in their multigrade primary schools, where children do most of their learning in competence-based groups, while the teacher functions as guide and coach.

In Kenya, a teenage boy is also celebrating. A primary school dropout who once survived outside the law, he now runs his own small business, lives on his own, and even helps support his family financially. He learned the skills he needed in a 12-week entrepreneurship program offered to youth living on the streets in the heart of one of Africa’s largest slums.

The life-changing economic opportunities now available to these children are the direct result of the unique quality of their schooling, which has had a direct and positive impact on their immediate circumstances. In other words, these children’s schooling was made relevant to their current life experiences and those they will later encounter.


This is the publisher's final PDF and is © 2013 Marc J. Epstein and Kristi Yuthas. Originally published in Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization and can be found online at:



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