In an attempt to explore the data on the current education challenges and bring to light individual stories from key stakeholders in the system to set the data in perspective, India’s market liberal think-tank advocating social change through public policy, Centre for Civil Society (CCS), in partnership with EdelGive Foundation launched the 2nd edition of the annual report on Budget Private School (BPS) in India.
Titled Faces of Budget Private Schools Report 2018 features insights from 50 interviews with stakeholders across 11 states in the country. The interviewees include individuals such as principals, parents and students, as well as, with the broader ecosystem of edupreneurs, investors, and foundations that work actively in the space.
The panel chaired by senior journalist Seetha brought together, scholars, researchers, edupreneurs and industry experts like Kulbhushan Sharma, president, National Independent Schools Alliance; president, Federation of Private Schools Association, Haryana, Vikas Jhunjhunwala, Founder & CEO, Sunshine Schools; Jairaj Bhattacharya, managing director, ConveGenius and Prof Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, chair of Education and International Development, UCL Institute of Education, University College London. The launch organised by CCS and EdelGive Foundation was held at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
Focussing on the challenges faced by the sector, Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, during her keynote speech, elaborated on how the Right to Education norms militate against the BPS while “94% government schools continue to not meet these regulatory norms. With no threat of closure, these schools continuously neglect learning outcomes whereas a majority of low fee private schools face abrupt closure despite their efforts at quality learning”. To further address the debate on quality and learning outcomes of BPS, Kulbhushan Sharma mentioned “There is always scope for improvement, and BPS are no different. But their sheer demand is a testament to the quality of education that they are disseminating”.
Elucidating on bespoke tech solutions and innovations required by low fee schools to mitigate challenges, Jairaj Bhattacharya said, “Technology shows that curriculum and education cannot be standardised across different regions. There was a 15% increase in learning levels when math was taught in the vernacular language.”
Through the Annual Report on Budget Private Schools in India, CCS aims to develop a repository of credible information on BPS in India through research and integration of perspectives from practitioners, policymakers and scholars. The launch of BPS Report 2018 and the subsequent panel discussion aimed to amplify the voices of the key stakeholders in the BPS ecosystem and to understand the feasibility of affecting the system within education.