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Escuela Nueva Foundation

Escuela Nueva addresses the challenges to education through a cost-effective, community-based, multi-grade solution.


Investee Escuela Nueva Foundation (ENF), founded 1987
Location Colombia
Sector Education
Funding period 2008-2013
Funding type Loan




  • Many children in developing nations – particularly in the rural areas – fall outside the reach of traditional, quality education.
  • Children’s needs cannot be addressed by the existing structures, systems or policies - teachers lack training, schools lack pedagogic materials, methodologies are outdated, and content is irrelevant to children’s daily lives.
  • The result is poor comprehension and academic performance, as well as high rates of repetition.


  • ENF’s model addresses the factors affecting education simultaneously and systematically through a cost-effective, community-based, multi-grade solution
  • Rather than tackling each problem in isolation, ENF:

            (1) Provides durable pedagogical materials and teacher training

            (2) Fosters peer to peer network support

            (3) promotes policy enforcement

Impact depth

ENF has benefited more than 20’000 rural public schools in Colombia, as well as 14 countries in Latin America, and approx. 5 million children.

Combating illiteracy, social disengagement, and poverty cycles in rural areas of Colombia and Latin America. The World Bank, National University of Colombia, and UNESCO have recognized the ENF system’s ability to significantly improve academic achievements, as well as foster higher levels of self-esteem, civic behavior, and critical thinking

Impact Reach 2007 2008 2009e 2010e 2011e 2012e
# Students impacted p.a. in Colombia (in thousand) 230 430 800 1'200 1'600 1'800
# Students impacted p.a. internationally (in thousand) n/a 200 400 600 800 1'000