School education is the largest education segment valued at USD 44 billion in 2011 and is expected to reach USD 144 billion by the year 2020.
Despite having the largest kindergarten to grade 12 (K-12) population globally, India has a low enrolment rate in schools, especially at the senior secondary level. The enrolment percentage has fallen from 113 per cent at primary to 81 per cent at middle school and then to 31 per cent at secondary and higher secondary levels. Low enrolment and high drop-out rates are caused by low availability of schools in rural areas, low awareness, and prevalence of child labour amongst lower income strata.
Poor infrastructure in government schools and lack of good teachers have forced the Indian middle class to withdraw their children from government schools and enroll them in private schools. While private schools account for 20 per cent (0.26 million) of the total number of schools (1.3 million), they provide education to more than 30 per cent of students. The increasing demand for quality education is also backed by the willingness to pay for it.
The rise of IB schools in India over the last few years is one of the key evidences of this trend. The first International Baccalaureate (IB) school was authorised in 1976. By 2001, there were 8 IB schools in India and in 2011 there were 84 authorised schools. This trend for better quality education, improved and world class facilities and activities is going to see an accelerated growth in the future.
The overwhelming acceptance of international boards like the IB and the Cambridge, indicate that people are looking at alternative curriculums and pedagogies that lean towards practical and applied learning rather than rote learning.