Affordable Private School in India

There’s an emerging ecosystem of low cost (some would say ‘affordable’) private schools in India.  The definition is fuzzy but generally less than 600 rupees with many targeting 200 rupees for primary and 300 rupees in 10th grade.  In urban areas it’s common for more than 60% of students to attend private schools rather than government schools. Parents typically make the choice for the English language environment and better instruction.

A couple of the folks we met with include:

  •, a company formed by James Tooley, and Teacher Foundation provide curriculum and professional development to low cost schools
  • Rumi Schools, a division of Orient Global, another company Tooley was instrumental in founding
  • Gray Matters Capital is building a rating system to boost quality of, access to, and funding for affordable private schools
  • Intellecap is an advisory encouraging mainstream private investment in micro-finance and low cost schools
  • SKS is the largest mico-finance company with 6m customers; they are supporting the development of a network of low cost schools for their customers

It’s encouraging to see blended (philanthropic and private) impact capital building access to quality education for some of the worlds poorest populations.  Pictures available here.

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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1 Comment

Amit Shah

Fascinating and great pictures. With a middle-class that's almost 300+million plus schools such as this that can educate many who'd never see the inside of a private school, the potential for literacy and skills is immense. The literacy rate hovers at 65% nationally. With more than half the Indian population in rural/non-urban areas, will you be touring some of the rural schools. Distance learning with innovative delivery might be the key there since teacher recruitment is so hard for rural areas. Your thoughts?

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