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Filling the education funding gap in India

260 million students in 1.5 million schools. Welcome to India, home to one of the most complex education systems in the world.

India has attained near universal primary education –only 3% of students don’t attend grades one through eight. Yet one in four lack access to early education and only 64% successfully transition to secondary school. Dropout and transition rates are higher than average among girls and minority students. Performance is relatively low across the board.

India needs to invest about $173 billion a year from now through 2030 to achieve U.N. SDG №4 (Affordable and quality education for all). That’s more than $100 billion more each year than the current government budget.

A new report, Funding Education with Impact, from the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network, says impact investors are missing key opportunities.

Source: Funding Education with Impact

Of the roughly $4 billion impact investors such as Khosla Impact, Unitus Seed Fund and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation invested in India between 2010 and 2015, only 2% went into education. Primary and secondary education received the bulk of impact investments, with tech-based platforms for tutoring and e-learning taking in significant investment. Early childhood education attracted one-third of investments, mostly directed to “private, urban, early childhood daycare centers catering to middle-income groups,” according to AVPN.

Missing out almost completely: vocational training and “ecosystem interventions,” including curricula, standards and data-collection.

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