At the heart of the K-12 segment in India’s mammoth $100 billion education sector lies an intriguing riddle. Despite substantial investments by both the state and the private sectors, student performance isn’t where it should be. In India’s classrooms, teachers struggle to teach students at widely differing learning levels. In the end, students graduate with unemployable skills and limited opportunities for income.
Education innovators who improve academic support and college preparatory programs can improve student learning in Indian schools and colleges in an affordable, scalable and viable manner. With that in mind, in 2012, we began investing in for-profit companies to address these education challenges and play a market-making role in the sector. The goal of expanding our funding model was to ensure our new partners could create high-quality options with a focus on low-income constituents, while scaling their businesses. As we look to catalyze an entrepreneurial eco-system focused on education ventures, we hope to activate multiple opportunities for all social and mainstream investors, as well as ignite growth in the education sector.
We support several organizations that provide teachers with tools and training to create engaging classrooms, help children achieve grade-level proficiency and create opportunities for underprivileged students to aspire for and be able to attend top colleges in the country. Organizations funded by the foundation are working with both government and private education systems. Innovative companies are also answering the challenge of delivering quality education in the absence of qualified and competent teachers in millions of schools. Leveraging technology, the delivery of high-quality teaching is benefiting students in schools, helping them prepare for college and meaningful careers.
To evaluate the success of these efforts, we’ve collaborated with assessment agencies to measure the impact of our partners. Measurable impact is the crucial ingredient upon which all scalable education ventures must build. As gaps and challenges appear in those measured outcomes, we will learn where the next innovation should lead.