Is India Going Portfolio? Will it Work?


I just read India School Education Vision 2030, a report from the Central Square Foundation (CSF).

It is well worth reading.

I don’t know enough about Indian education to have opinions on the content, but many pieces of information stood out.

India’s Private School Enrollment Share Could Increase from 44% to 67%

CSF predicts that two thirds of Indian students will attend private schools by 2030.

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India has Very Weak Educational Infrastructure 

Lack of Assessment: India seems to have neither reliable sample based testing (such as NAEP) or student based testing (such as our state assessments). As such, the government has little ability to monitor educational outcomes.

Teacher Training: India currently has 16,000 entities training teachers, most of which appear to be of low quality; the bar for entering them is also very low.

Leadership: Nearly half of India’s schools do not have principles, and those that do are often led by non-instructional administrators.

India is Experimenting with Regulating Equity

Currently, India requires private schools to withhold 25% of their enrollment for poor students, with the costs being covered by the government.

This is a novel approach, though it appears that implementation is very uneven.

Getting From Here to There

CSF notes: “With private schools becoming the dominant providers of education by 2030, the Government’s role will need to shift from that of a provider of education to that of a strong and responsible regulator.”

Similar language is used by advocates of the portfolio / TUSSOF / relinquishment / empowerment model.

CSF also calls for a host of reforms around equity, teacher development, curriculum, and technology.

I have no idea whether the above reforms will be adopted or whether they will work if they are adopted.

But while it’s natural for us to get caught up in what’s happening in New Orleans, Detroit, or Philadelphia – it’s also worth us paying attention, and caring about, the billion people living in India.

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