The Role of Edify in Promoting Christ-centred Education Through Low-fee Independent Schools

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Free universal primary education has been promoted globally since the declaration of Education for All in 1990. As a result, the number of school-going children in the developing world has increased at an unprecedented scale and governments have run short of educational facilities and qualified teachers. Millions of children have been left without access to school and those who enrolled received poor quality education. Low-fee independent (private) schools (LFISs), which charge small fees, have mushroomed everywhere in response to parental demand for access and quality education. Low-income families began to send their children to LFISs rather than government schools. Despite the critical role they play in providing access and quality education, LFISs were faced with challenges that hindered them from unleashing their full potential. Edify was founded in 2009 with the vision of flourishing Godly nations to stand alongside Christian LFISs through the provision of loan capital, training and education technology services to enable them to improve and expand sustainable Christ-centred education globally. During its eight years of operation, Edify has cumulatively partnered with around 3500 schools, having an impact on 1 million children. Over 20,000 school leaders and teachers have been trained in conjunction with local training partners. With the recycling of repayment through local lending partners, Edify has dispersed US$21.9 million in total loans to schools. With a brief historical background of LFISs, this article presents the rationale, content and modus operandi of Edify’s programme.

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Against the backdrop of Jesus’ actions and teachings on money, wealth, poverty, and economic justice in the gospels, some scholars portray him as a leader of a social movement, with a revolutionary economic program. In Luke, money is sometimes considered a normal part of everyday life. On the contrary, there is a negative view of riches in seven of the nine passages where the word “rich” is used in the third Gospel (Luke 16:1–13; Luke 19:1–9). This chapter examines Jesus’ teachings on issues of wealth and poverty in Luke 16 from a Ghanaian Pentecostal-Charismatic perspective. It concludes that, unlike the prosperity gospel, from a Lukan perspective, wealth assumes a negative trait when its primary essence is to make more wealth at the expense of the poor, or when it occupies a central place in a person’s life without regard for their neighbor’s wellbeing. A positive dimension is established when money is utilized for the communal good, such as bridging the gap between the rich and the poor in society. Thus, wealth is either a tool for social justice, or it is an idol (mammon) that leads to slavery when accumulated.
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