With the current pace of education spending and factors like shortage of quality teachers, India will take a whopping 126 years to reach standards of education at par with developed nations, according to a report by ASSOCHAM
Like every sector, education needs disruption, it requires more entrepreneurs or to say “edupreneurs” who can bring this disruption. Few edupreneurs have already started to emerge, and they are getting a good response from the market. It started with posting educational tutorials on YouTube, which when became famous transformed into full-fledged classroom channels like Crash Course Academy. Other companies like Meritnation, Khan Academy, Byju’s Classes are utilising the online space for teaching purposes. And these endeavours are welcomed by student community, the response is great.
India spends a mere 3.83 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on education which is insufficient to catch up with developed economies, thus implying that if the change in education system is not dramatic, it’ll take us six generations to catch up with developed countries. In contrast, the US spends 5.22 per cent of its GDP on education, Germany spends 4.95 per cent while for UK it is 5.72 per cent.
Noting that India has resource constraints, to reach the levels of spending as recommended by the United Nations, requires our country to spend at least 6 per cent of its GDP on education. Moreover, shortage of quality teachers is among the major challenges facing the education sector. At present, the shortage of teachers has been measured at 1.4 million.
Besides, 20 per cent of the teachers do not measure up to the standards of the National Council for Teachers’ Education (NCTE). Also, due to absence of focus on effective skill development, India is one of the least skilled countries.
India has a huge market in the education domain. Especially in the higher education segment, where there are more than 5,000 engineering and management colleges, with nearly 800-1,000added every year, the market is close to 6+ million students going for either higher education or campus placements annually. This translates to at least $600million opportunity. There are specific education hubs in the country, with large number of institutions and universities, which are our primary focus.
Tapping these obstacles and assisting India reach global standards in terms of education, many education entrepreneurs are coming up with startups which are unique and help bridge the yawning gap between the education standards of India and other developed countries. Provision of free WiFi and other technology also adds-on in making education accessible easily. Government has also come up with a course in teacher training to have the teaching facility at par with global faculty.
Abhinav Chaturvedi, founder, Gradians says, “Education is something Indian parents and students spend a lot of time and money on. In fact, after food and grocery, education accounts for the second highest discretionary spend in mid-income Indian families. So, the market potential is obvious.”