India’s education system should be the envy of the world. As the world’s largest democracy it has the people who are willing to learn and grow, but what it lacks is adequate funding and infrastructure. With state officialdom and government intervention only able to do so much so fast, people are increasingly turning to India’s entrepreneurs for inspiration. Let’s take a look at five key ways in which the nation’s innovators can help a people that are more populous than Europe – to finally be able to stand alongside the educational strength of the US and the UK.
If you want to know how entrepreneurs can help, then look no further than the world of peer-to-peer lending. In a country where funding and personal finance are often insurmountable barriers to entry, the ability to increase the liquidity of any given household will be the key.
By being able to lend and receive money from your peers, you will be able to juggle finances with greater flexibility. With too many children forced out of school due to poverty and the need to work at a young age to provide for their families, this will prove to be a monumental step forward. By putting new lending tools in people’s hands, the entrepreneurs of India will allow them to make progress where there were previously just barriers.
One of the most beautiful things about India is the sheer scale of the landscape, but this also presents one of its most significant challenges. Online technology will increasingly allow students in remote locations to study at more prestigious institutions. This will broaden their horizons to what is possible, and also make the country a smaller and more easily navigable place from an educational standpoint.
This could be especially important for closing the educational gender gap – which remains a work in progress. If every young girl were given access to online learning materials, then we would see an acceleration in the closing of the gender gap. Not only would this be good for women specifically, but it would also be good for India as a whole. Women bring a fresh approach and a different perspective on many common problems. The more of them able to receive a first-class education by studying online from remote locations the better.
Entrepreneurial activities generally create two things: cutting-edge resources, and money. While it will be of great benefit to the education sector to receive firsthand help and advice from entrepreneurs, their donations are just as important.
By starting up charities and trusts, entrepreneurs can help provide seed capital for a host of exciting new educational ventures. From building schools, online learning to paying for teacher training and restocking new textbooks, everything is possible with the right funding.
The reason this is so important is that anyone in Indian can have the next big idea — they’re not limited solely to those who have already achieved great things. By providing an accessible source of funding, entrepreneurs can help bridge the gap between the education system of today, and where we need to get to as a nation.
Knowledgeable teachers from top writers are the most important resource they can have access to. Unfortunately, standards vary greatly across subjects, areas, and within any given school. The reason for this is simple – the training teachers receive is not consistent across the board.
If you want to be seen as an educational superpower, then you need to invest significantly in the people who will be delivering the education in the classroom. Wealthy entrepreneurs can fund teacher training schools that will help standardise the quality of education that every child can expect.
Not only that, but they can also feed the lessons they have learnt about the latest technology back into the very training institutions that they’re funding. This will enable the syllabus taught in every school to be both rigorous, and current.
There are a number of exciting startup educational solutions today. The great thing about entrepreneurs is their ability to network and collaborate. Rather than different schemes being run by completely separate government departments, entrepreneurial ventures offer the chance to build networks.
By coming together, schools and universities will be able to pool their resources and develop larger educational networks. Over time this could result in a number of specialist schools which then become centres of excellence whose expertise is world-renowned.
This may sound a little way off at the moment, but it is the movement of the entrepreneurial class into the education sector – that will make it happen. By being openminded and forward thinking, they will move past the barriers and politics of the government led system which just isn’t working at the moment.
There is plenty of work to do, but certainly, there are exciting times ahead.