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Education and testing company Pearson, founded in 1844, is playing a growing role in connecting under resourced people to education and the job market. Since 2011, it has provided the GED high school equivalency exam—which it offers in more than 85 countries—among other tests designed to confirm the skills of job seekers lacking traditional diplomas. In June, Pearson issued a “social bond,” raising proceeds of 350 million British pounds (about $450 million)—to be used to finance more learning services for people in need, including those with low income or disabilities as well as the unemployed. That includes GED testing as well as Pearson’s virtual schooling program, Connections Academy. The bond is also financing training for the BTEC (Business and Technology Education Council) vocational qualification certificate. Pearson has focused on extending access to BTEC certification for thousands of young women in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and other African countries.
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