Opportunities for Indian K-12 Sector


21st century regulation and governance reforms pushed by National Education Policy, 2020.


K-12 sector in India has ~261 million students,  enrolled across ~1.5 million schools of which ~46% students in private schools


While the current GDP spend is 3.1% on education, the NEP 2020 recommends 6%


Rise in popularity of international boards


The online education market in India is expected to grow by US$ 2.28 billion till 2025, a CAGR of almost 20%.


Shift towards digital education, the government initiatives like PM e-VIDYA, DIKSHA, SWAYAM, ePathshala to bolster K-12 e-learning.


India’s student-teacher ratio (STR) has been improving over the years, driven by the growth in the overall teacher’s cohort in the country


Indian ed-tech market size is expected to reach US$ 30 billion by 2031, from US$ 700-800 million in 2021.

Complex Regulatory Framework
Over regulated system with opaque structures for setting up and operating schools and overlapping regulations across levels of the governments (union and state). Slow clearance processes dissuading potential investors.


RTE Implementation
RTE norms such as maintaining STR# and infrastructure are causing financial constraints for budget schools. Compensation provided by government to private schools for reservations is insufficient when compared to actual cost incurred per child.


Digital divide and poor last mile connectivity
Low access to digital learning for rural and economically weaker sections & inadequacy of digital infrastructure for teachers to deliver learning. Fewer than 15% of rural Indian households had internet access as opposed to 42% urban households.


Collaboration between the private and government sector
Synergies and collaborations between the private and government K-12 sector are suboptimal. Private players are dissuaded to participate due to complex regulatory framework and absence of any clear financially viable models.


Inadequate quality infrastructure and faculty
200,000+ government schools do not have a library facility, 6K govt schools do not have buildings, 5% lack clean drinking water. Shortage of 500,000+ teachers in elementary schools; 14% of secondary schools do not have prescribed a minimum of 6 teachers.


Non-integration of future learning systems in pedagogy
Current curriculum has limited focus on analytical and cognitive learning and is delivered in traditional mediums. Classroom instruction accounts for a major chunk in student learning.


Challenges for Indian K-12 Sector

Vision 2047:
Re-humanization of K-12 Education

Student centricity
Robust infrastructure
Quality teaching and professional development
Governance and investment framework
Leverage Indian EdTech Ecosystem

Priority Unlocks

What Institutions and Industry could do now


Student Centricity

  • Ensure quality and inclusive learning experiences, equality for disabled and economically disadvantaged students. Focus on re-humanization of K-12 education; build 4C’s - character, capacity, conduct and caliber, amongst students.
  • To make schools of 2047 ‘future learning systems’, focus on developing actionable blueprints for technological integration in school pedagogies.
  • Aim to collaborate with global schools, HEIs and international student bodies to co-create curriculum and allow students to engage in cultural exchange programs to develop students into global citizens.
  • Collaborate with schools to share knowledge from global thought leaders, institutions and industry experts to establish ‘Future Ready Forums’ in schools.

Robust Infrastructure

  • Ensure that a school’s infrastructure conforms to ‘School Quality Assessment & Assurance’ (SQAA) framework guidelines. The infrastructure should be equally accessible by both abled and disabled students. Engage with ed-tech players to adopt digital tools such as LMS, ERP, smart classroom hardware, etc.
    Ed-tech players should build low cost, mass implementable and user-friendly technology tools that can be deployed within the academic and non-academic activities/operations of the schools.
  • Develop institute wide SOP’s for deploying digital tools and within the institute. Ensure school leadership, faculties and students buy-in on the use of digital interventions within learning spaces.
  • Conduct competitions in partnership with third-parties and NGOs to drive adoption of tools for teaching, content creation, collaboration, etc.

Quality Teaching & Professional Development

  • Funds for faculty training has declined by 89% from INR 1,158 crore in 2014-15 to INR 127 crore in 2022-23. This is inconsistent with NEP, which instead recommends increasing resources for teacher training. Teacher training should be prioritized, and the funding should be at least increased to past levels.
  • Train teachers to effectively deliver enquiry-based curriculum through regular mandatory in-house pedagogy trainings.
  • Develop peer learning mechanisms through online portals, where teachers from different schools share knowledge and train one another in areas of their subject matter expertise.

How policymakers could help


Student Centricity

  • Re-imagine the vocational education system in India, reformulating the programs as demand-driven; develop mechanisms to track out-of-school students and make it easy for them to re-enter schools.
  • Introduce vocational and technical skills in Grade 9 – Grade 12 to familiarize students with the latest technological trends and disruptions.
  • Aim to make the Indian education system a leader in the field by producing well-rounded graduates, measured through top ranks in international assessments and high enrolment and graduation rates at all levels.

Robust Infrastructure

  • Focus on building school clusters that promote greater resource efficiency, effective functioning and governance.
  • Equip teachers with gadgets (laptops / tablets) to empower teachers to use creative forms of teaching techniques. For instance, in 2019-20, Delhi govt equipped teachers in 1,100+ public schools with 60,000+ tablets.
  • Focus on consolidating government schools to ensure effective utilization of funds and better overall infrastructure through school complexes.

Quality Teaching & Professional Development

  • Build clearly defined career progression mechanisms in schools to attract quality teaching talent.
  • Develop policies that mandate private school faculties to train and upskill government school teachers on new pedagogies, technologies, etc.
  • Set-up multiple ‘Centres of Excellence’ across the country for preparing and training world class teachers. Partner with education industry leaders and global teacher training institutions to train upcoming faculties on global best practices.

Governance and investment framework

  • Review RTE act - make it outcome-focused; Streamline regulations to reduce overall licenses/approvals required, as well as reduce overlapping regulations at state and national level
  • Develop regulatory framework to enable seamless and secure partnerships between schools and upcoming technology/ed-tech companies
  • Develop policies that mandate private school faculties to train and upskill government school teachers on new pedagogies, technologies, etc.
  • Liberalize regulations to attract investment from foreign investors and international school chains. Availability payment concession and demand risk concession public private partnership (PPP) models can be explored by the policy makers to partner with private organizations and investors
  • School twinning programs (PPP model) can be explored. Low-performing public schools could be identified, and they could be offered to the private sector as PPP in the form of a Hub and Spoke model.
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