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Monday, December 17, 2012

Smart! But can it make your child learn better?

Karan Khemka writes, "Schools are turning to education technology to provide better teaching. Yet, despite strong growth, many edutech companies face challenges for sustainable growth."
Photo: Forbes India
Withexploding affluence in emerging markets like India and Brazil, governments are unable to keep up with the demand for high-quality education among the growing middle class. Families are turning to private schools, and enrolment has grown, for example, in China by 12 percent and India by 8 percent per year in recent years.

Entrepreneurs are opening private institutions at unprecedented rates: In India, the current 70,000 private schools are expected to double in the next decade, with an astonishing 20-30 schools set to open daily. Two new private schools are opening in Sao Paulo each day.
The rapid growth of these markets is generating intense competition among private schools. Unlike other consumer offerings, schools are both highly localised and experiential; urban families have breadth to be choosy, and schools must deliver reviews and results before families will opt in. It is no coincidence that top schools and universities—Oxford, Harvard, Eton, Andover—are also the oldest schools in their countries.

Our findings show that 20 percent of Brazilian private schools and 25 percent of Indian private schools have been in operation less than five years. This creates a challenging set of circumstances in which new schools must differentiate themselves without time to demonstrate results and build a reputation.


(The author is the head of Parthenon’s International Education Practice and wrote his article with support from Roisin Pelley, Mayank Kumar and Mary Abdo)

Source: Forbes India