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This blog will share my views on how the education industry has become a business in India and strategies to keep the education system beyond business.

Let’s dive in and understand the situation.

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Summary Of The Article

Education is the fundamental right of human beings. It makes them able to distinguish between right and wrong themselves.

An educated nation is a key to succeeding in every field of life and can change their country into a developed country.

But in the modern era, the aim of education and the education sector is centered on the economy in developing countries like India.

Education Is Nothing More Than A Business

The rise of the concept of education as an investment and profit-making field, where organizations, procedures, and networks involved in these initiatives assume an increasingly global scale.

Many factors are involved in bringing it to this edge. One main factor is the involvement of third parties for their non-profit or for-profit benefits.

A growing number of private, generally for-profit companies and investors are interested in the investment, ownership, service, and administration of education at various educational levels that have previously been within the jurisdiction of the state.

The government and educational institutes have to make such policies to keep these third parties away from their education system to save the education sector.

Edu-business, For-profit agencies, Global education system, Economy, Curriculum

Introduction To Education Industry

The education industry has emerged as one of the many areas that have been affected by the globalization of many businesses, technology, and social movements in India.

Indeed, the involvement of business interests in education is not a novel phenomenon.

Parents and students seek benefit via education, as shown by behaviors such as paying tuition and fees, fundraising, and relocating to a “better” school.

Yet, even as a largely state-maintained sector, schools are not run on the philanthropic impulses of teachers, administrators, education software developers, or textbook publishers since each also seeks some personal return in exchange for their efforts at educating children.

Adam Smith’s famous remark,

 

“We do not anticipate our meal from the generosity of the butcher, brewer, or baker, but from their respect for their advantage.”

 

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Also refers to the education sector-

When we talk about education as a globalized and commercial industry, we refer to something new.

We are seeing the rise of whole trade groups devoted to maximizing the potential for investors seeking to profit from the education industry.

Thus, we are witnessing the rising globalization of companies, behaviors, and networks involved in education-related investments and profit-making initiatives in every state of India.

Even though public funds often support education, private actors and organizations have several entry points.

There is a rising interest from private, generally for-profit companies and investors in the global education industry (GEI) in various activities, including an interest in investment, ownership, and administration of education at multiple levels that have previously been within the jurisdiction of the state.

Since public education accounts for a large percentage of national income in most nations, such enthusiasm from investors makes sense.

Consequently, education has long been seen as a different collection of activities, investments, and policies, with its own set of services and economic transactions.

A new market segment that is frequently outside of conventional state control has emerged due to the establishment of the GEI: exam preparation and Edu-marketing, curriculum packages, and school reform services.

 

school development

 

This industry is no different from other industries. Many of its economic and institutional changes are driven by political players and the commercial objectives of globalizing businesses.

However, this economic phenomenon is not merely an organic one. Instead, public policymaking structures support it.

Private interests in the GEI, on the other hand, often influence policymakers by defining agendas, framing issues, and reshaping regulatory frameworks to suit their interests.

 

FACTORS INFLUENCING

 

Factors Influencing Education Sectors And Quality

Private interests in education have played a role for a long time, but only in the last few years has a global education industry emerged that is fundamentally different from everything that came before it.

Indeed, the scope and scale of the GEI are new, as is its degree of both horizontal and vertical integration.

The relatively recent emergence of this phenomenon raises questions as to why it is happening at this point in history and why it is taking the shape that it is taking.

Video Credit: TEDx Talks

The Globalization Of The Economy

In a globalized economic environment, where competition between economic actors and territories intensifies, education is treated as a critical instrument of international competitiveness in India.

Education and training are among the few public policy instruments that, in a more open and liberalized economy, states can legitimately activate to promote their industry without being accused of altering the rules of free trade.

At the same time, many countries, including India, aspire to become ‘knowledge economies’ (e.g., to adopt an economic development model that is more intense in knowledge products and services) and logically see education as a critical asset for this purpose.

The knowledge economy has become a powerful economic imaginary that makes governments and private companies more willing to invest in education.

Education is increasingly seen as both a positional good—a symbol or arena for competition for status—and a valuable investment by individuals who do not want to be left behind in a labor market that is becoming more flexible and dualized.

 

The Commodification Of Knowledge

Individuals and families are embracing the idea of education as a privatized, individual good in Indian states.

Global education reform discourse frequently conflates the economic advantages of learning for individuals and the larger community.

Even as countries attempt to enhance their international competitiveness via better education, families in such countries typically struggle for sought-after slots in what they consider to be comparatively better schools.

Parents compete to get their children into the best schools even under open-access education systems since education has become a positional good and not only a road to better work opportunities.

Researchers like Reid have shown that it’s not uncommon for educational institutions to represent a conflicting combination of individual and societal aims.

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The “good” of schooling, on the other hand, has been more commodified as “consumers” seek the best services as a result of education policy’s increased emphasis on market processes of choice and competition.

The reality is that parents and policymakers see education as a private product. They must utilize their money and abilities to fight for desired locations at the cost of other customers.

 

No education for poor

 

Financialization Of Education Sectors

Private investors and commercial banks are willing to invest in educational businesses due to their potential profitability.

Such availability of national and international credit also comes from public finance initiatives.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank credit facility for the private sector, stands out.

In 2001, the IFC declared education, together with health, as a priority sector by establishing the “Health and Education Group.”

This organization justified this shift toward ‘public services” after detecting, on the one hand, a “gap left by the public sector” and, on the other hand, that families were “more willing to pay for education than in the past, understanding its contribution to a child’s future success and associated family stability.”

Not only do education providers, including universities and schools, resort to financial markets to sustain or expand their activity.

Demand for credit also comes from students and their families.

This is especially true in those countries where governments have tended to substitute scholarships for students’ loan policies and where college or university fees have increased, and India is included in the list of such countries.

 

Student Loans

 

International Trends In Education

Edu-businesses are benefiting from a wide variety of policies that have been adopted throughout the world, like accountability systems and the common core standards.

When these policies are coupled with incentives and penalties based on performance, they pressure schools and districts to achieve educational results matched with monolithic criteria.

The establishment of common core standards at the curricular level is helping companies selling school materials to enjoy a broader market in territorial terms since their books, software, or other types of materials—as long as they ascribe to the standards in question—will have validity on a broader scale.

International education tests, such as the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment, often exert equivalent pressures.

In-depth research has been done on how political and media pressures on various nations result from international evaluations.

Therefore, these governments are enticed to accept short-term fixes and remedies to their performance concerns, such as those provided and marketed in the global education sector.

Last but not least, nations with a greater degree of educational decentralization are more receptive to various kinds of education privatization tendencies.

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As a result of the municipalization of education in developing countries like India, public education has been underfunded and devalued while the private sector has grown.

Many middle-class families send their children to private schools because local governments lack the necessary technical and political competence to provide quality education.

 

Education system 

Evidence-Based Policies

In an era where policymakers talk about making decisions based on evidence, it is said that they rely more than ever on what scientific evidence says when making policy decisions.

However, there can be many variations by country, sector, and scientific discipline.

The use of research evidence in education policy is often one of the weaker connections.

The GEI has likewise adopted this method as a primary strategy.

However, Edu-businesses and their charitable branches strategically employ evidence to shape and market their preferred policy solutions in front of government and other education stakeholders.

Hogan, Lingard, and Seller illustrate that Pearson uses imagery and terminology from experimental sciences (laboratories, researchers with data, microscopes, etc.) to promote products like the Education Efficacy Framework.

The medicalization of educational research is an analogy used by these writers to describe the marketing tactic used by educational firms to give their goods an air of scientific rigor and make them more marketable.

 

The Emergence Of Technology

Information technology is now recognized as a crucial driver of quality learning processes and greater access and learning results, typically by tech entrepreneurs interested in reforming and marketing education.

With the significance given by many countries and international organizations to fostering digital skills via education to enhance the employability of their populations, this is helping to promote IT’s entry into educational institutions and schools.

Not just rich nations but even developing countries see this trend via initiatives like the one-to-one policy program.

It’s a cost-effective solution in many underdeveloped nations, like India, where few instructors and training are lacking.

Strategies To Keep The Education System Beyond Business | Strategies To Tackle This Problem

  • Schooling and other educational institutions play a critical role in preparing future workers, whether children, adolescents, or adults.

 

  • What it means to “do something” is giving people the abilities and dispositions necessary to “do anything,” which may vary from the extremely specific (such as training for a particular career or profession) to the much broader (such as training for life in general).

 

  • This is notably, but not only related to economic reasons, i.e., the role education also plays in worker preparation and, by extension, its contribution to economic development and growth.

 

  • The government, education board, and institutes should make such rules to provide quality education to every individual in the country with their fundamental rights.

 

  • They should keep the third parties’ involvement in their policies that are becoming part of the education system for their profit and benefit.

 

  • Teaching basic morals and principles of education to each individual should be the priority.

 

Strategies

 

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Final Words

Of course, the emergence of the GEI benefits proponents of more private sector involvement in education in Indian states.

Indeed, the sets of policies manifested in the GEI allow for and encourage the use of personal resources and capital in public education.

This state-run sector is often starved for funding.

At the same time, proponents see advantages in accessing private resources for the public sector and management approaches and principles that have proven successful for businesses and could conceivably be applied to schools.

As we will see, this is not only an argument coming from companies themselves but also from private philanthropies built on business success, which then try to aid education both with investments and ideas.

To tackle this problem in Indian states, there is a need to change policies for the benefit of the country and nation instead of these third parties.

The education system should work honestly and prioritize the talented individuals of their country.

Governments, educational boards, and institutes should provide quality education to every individual in their country, as education is their fundamental right.

Through education, they can add their country to developed countries.

Video Credit: TEDx Talks

No one is against business in school, but education should be a service offered and provided to students.

 

In this blog, we have discussed how Education Industry Has Become a Business In India and how to deal with it.

I hope you like the blog post. Don’t forget to share this post with others.

Feel free to share your thoughts.

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Raj Kumar

I am Raj, Founder of rajtheblogger.com. I would like to share my thoughts and life experiences with the readers on this website.

2 Comments

Bebo · June 26, 2022 at 8:19 pm

Awesome thoughts!

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