Whenever I think of education, I remember what Albert Einstein said during his visit to Boston in 1921 while commenting on college education. He said, “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of minds to think.” He further said that to learn facts, a person does not really need a school or college education. The value of an education acquired from schools and colleges is to train the mind to think about something that cannot be learned from textbooks. It is to invent the ability to understand, process, and apply knowledge intelligently in real life. It also facilitates the realization of self-potential and latent talents in an individual.

Education started as the natural response of ancient civilizations in the struggle of surviving and thriving in their surroundings. The adults trained the young of their society with knowledge and skills they would need to cope with the environment they were in and eventually the knowledge was passed on orally and through imitation down the generations that came in the future. 

Coming to the present, in rural and urban India, the issue of children’s education and health are the two topmost priorities for all parents.  If we go by the figures, the Indian education market is expected to grow up to USD 225 billion by 2025. This number actually matches if you consider that 26.31 percent of India’s population is in the age group of 0-14 years. The younger the population, the more opportunities for the education sector to grow.

A look at the Indian education system reveals that it has been very much inclined towards the public sector. According to a FICCI report that came out a few years ago, 54% of all 1.46 million K-12 schools in India are managed by the central or state governments. Again, 21% are managed by local bodies and municipal corporations. Private schools range up to 25% of the total number of K-12 schools in India. 

Now, let’s focus a little on what is the state of literacy in India and the measures being taken by education entrepreneurs to improve it. According to UNESCO’s new Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report, our country is expected to achieve universal primary education in 2050, universal lower secondary education in 2060, and universal upper secondary education in 2085. In the face of such an analysis, one is compelled to think about what can be done to achieve these targets earlier?

School franchising becomes a very pertinent answer to this question through which we can spread the light of literacy in every nook and corner of India. The Franchise model of education is based upon making true the dreams and visions of the children who have a genuine desire to learn and make contributions to the society and country at large. This model is one of the most effective ways of solving the illiteracy problem of India. 

It has been observed that renowned school brands are franchising to increase their reach, and gradually build up their brand value apart from contributing to the spread of education in the country. 

Investors are realizing the advantages of the franchise model in terms of financial benefits apart from fulfilling their dreams of a literate society. The franchising model reduces the risk for both partners. The franchisor provides all-around support to the franchisee in setting up a new school. The list of support provided is long. It includes academic support with academic content & academic calendar, a comprehensive 360-degree audit, recruitment and training of teaching and non-teaching staff, and assistance in marketing, and IT.  

The school franchising system has particularly been a blessing for the rural and semi-urban areas. This is because of their perpetual need for quality education.  The blend of experience of setting up and running a school of the franchisor and the passion and dream of the franchisee in contributing to the human capital strengthens the spread of education to the lengths and breadths of the country. Eventually, this model of business will emerge as one of the most important factors contributing in making our country literate!