What’s next for affordable private schools in India?

What’s next for affordable private schools in India?

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Innovative Initiatives by Affordable Private Schools to Enhance Education Quality

Affordable private schools have been thriving on the path to making quality education accessible to all. The pandemic-induced school closures, however, have posed a significant threat to the education of 92 million children who attend such schools. It is estimated that by 2031, the number of children attending affordable private schools will reach 162 million. The National Independent School Alliance (NISA) estimates that there are over 400,000 private affordable schools serving students in India.

The pandemic has severely impacted affordable private schools (APSs), which are facing numerous challenges such as delayed fee payments, a shortage of qualified and skilled teachers, insufficient funds for infrastructure, and a lack of effective parent engagement. Despite these challenges, parents still prefer private schools for their quality education. School owners are keen to adopt new initiatives that set them apart from government or other private schools, such as offering classes in abacus, English, and coding.

A fresh approach and perspective have made education more interactive, hands-on, and focused on achieving learning outcomes. This is the ideal time for schools to prepare for future trends and challenges and to be equipped to thrive in an increasingly globalized world.

To ensure a sustainable future for affordable private schools, structural reforms are necessary in the areas mentioned below:

1. National Education Policy

The National Education Policy (NEP) aims to modernize the country’s education system to meet the international standards of the 21st century. Talks are now centered on properly implementing the NEP to transform vision into action. 

While implementing NEP, schools should focus on creativity, innovation, and personality development instead of just high scores. Competency-based learning is needed for affordable private schools to assess learning outcomes and also learn about what skills a child should be able to demonstrate as part of their learning outcome.

The progress card should reflect the 360-degree assessment of students which will include self, peer, and teacher assessments. As per the NEP, schools are supposed to provide vocational courses and courses like coding, so school leaders must focus more on bringing such courses.

Read More: How can Affordable Private Schools overcome the financial burden imposed by covid?

2. Technology

Covid forced schools to switch to hybrid learning and a number of schools started utilizing technology for learning without being prepared. Two years in, school leaders should recognize and permanently move towards using technology in schools to raise responsible users of technology. The primary goal should be for school leaders to be able to focus on preparing the next generation of students to use, leverage, and be responsible users of technology.

Even a few years ago, students used to rely on teachers and textbooks to access the information they were learning. However, technologically savvy affordable private schools can now provide students with devices that allow them to access a much broader range of relevant information.

Going forward, classrooms will no longer be restricted to walls and textbooks. Students will have the opportunity to interact with experts from around the country and world through video calls and they will have access to various courses without regional barriers. Schools should focus on technology that benefits students and teachers, as well as develop the infrastructure required for such devices.

3. Teachers

Teachers are the foundation of schools, and qualified ones are crucial for the success of affordable private schools. However, in this tech-savvy world, an untrained teacher may be unable to capture the attention of the students. Teachers need to upgrade their skills to sustain themselves in the next affordable private schools. School leaders should offer courses on platforms like Coursera, udemy, and unacademy to help teachers improve their communication skills and build their professional learning communities. 

Communication skills and building PLC can help teachers to make the school grow. Teachers need to embrace new educational trends and mindsets which is necessary for schools to be future-ready.

4. School leaders

School leaders are responsible for creating an environment and implementing practices that are crucial for achieving future-ready outcomes. School leaders must adopt new perspectives on education and prepare themselves for the next generation of private schools. They need to focus on learning skills like leadership, finance management, and emotional intelligence.

School leaders should think about broadening the types of data they use for decision-making. Instead of just basic demographic information, including specific socioeconomic data can help principals measure their community’s ability to adapt to new technology. To ensure future growth, school leaders must learn to make data-driven decisions and become more tech savvy.

Affordable private schools are moving towards a new era and globalization of education. They need to prepare themselves to become future-ready and make students able to compete worldwide. School leaders, management, teachers, students, and also parents – everyone should put in the effort to upgrade themselves for the next phase of  affordable private schools.


Affordable private schools are moving towards a new era and globalization of education. They need to prepare themselves to become future-ready and make students able to compete worldwide. School leaders, management, teachers, students, and also parents – everyone should put in the effort to upgrade themselves for the next phase of affordable private schools.


1. What are affordable private schools in India?

Affordable private schools in India are educational institutions that offer an alternative to government schools by providing education at a relatively low cost, primarily targeting low to middle-income families. Despite their lower fees, these schools struggle to maintain standards by adopting modern teaching methods, incorporating technology in classrooms, and focusing on extracurricular activities. These schools aim to deliver better-quality education compared to government schools, with more emphasis on English-medium instruction, better infrastructure, and a focus on overall student development.

2. Who funds private schools in India?

Private schools in India are primarily funded through the following means:

  • Tuition Fees: The primary source of funding for private schools is the tuition fees that they charge students.
    Private Investments: Many private schools in India are set up by investors including entrepreneurs, educational trusts, or companies looking to invest in the education sector.
  • Donations and Grants: Schools run by non-profit organizations or charitable trusts, receive donations and grants.
    Corporate Sponsorship: Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives may also fund private schools, especially those focused on providing education to underprivileged children.
  • Endowments: These funds are typically invested, and the income generated is used to support the school’s operations, scholarships, and development projects.

3. How can I get free education in a private school in India?

Obtaining free education in private schools can be pursued through various means, supported by governmental policies, scholarships, and community initiatives. Right to Education (RTE) Act of 2009 mandates that private schools reserve 25% of their seats at the entry level for children from economically weaker sections and disadvantaged groups. These seats are funded by the government, ensuring no cost to the families. Scholarships are based on academic merit, extracurricular talents, or financial need. Corporate entities contribute through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. To avail of these opportunities, it’s essential for parents and students to actively seek out information from the school’s admissions office, local educational authorities, or trusted online resources to understand the eligibility criteria, application procedures, and deadlines associated with these scholarships and free seats.

4. Which education is better, private or government?

Deciding whether private or government education is better depends largely on individual needs and priorities. Private schools often provide superior facilities, smaller class sizes, and more extracurricular opportunities, leading to a highly enriched learning environment. However, they can be expensive and less diverse socio-economically. Government schools, on the other hand, offer more inclusivity and a broader demographic mix, with the benefit of being more affordable. These schools may sometimes struggle with resource limitations and larger class sizes. The decision between private and government education often comes down to personal values, financial capacity, and the specific needs of the student.

5. Which school has the lowest fees in India?

Government schools provide education at minimal to no cost, supported by state funding, making them the most affordable option for most families. Among private institutions, fees can vary widely, but there are many low-cost private schools, often found in rural or semi-urban areas, that cater specifically to lower-income families.

6. What are the 3 types of education?

  • Formal Education: Formal education occurs within the structured environment of schools, colleges, and universities. It follows a curriculum and is typically led by qualified teachers. Such as classroom learning, graded assessments, and academic degrees obtained through attending educational institutions.
  • Informal Education: It happens outside formal classrooms. It includes learning from family, friends, media, personal experiences, and everyday interactions. Such as learning to cook, ride a bicycle, or understand cultural norms.
  • Non-formal Education: It is organized and structured but occurs outside the formal education system. It often targets specific skills or interests. Such as Community workshops, online courses, vocational training, and hobby clubs.

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