Hippocampus Learning Centres

Pre-school and primary education in rural India.

Investment Snapshot

3k

Lives
Impacted

$700k

Total
Invested

2012

First Year
of Investment

Sector:

Region:

THE CHALLENGE

In a growing economy such as India there is a severe need for primary education that will prepare students for academic achievement and success in the job market, but the education system has struggled to meet the needs of low-income individuals. While pre- and primary enrolment rates are now greater than 95%, dropout rates are greater than 60% for grades 1-10.

Those that go to school receive low-quality instruction that often focuses more on rote memorization than on real learning. The challenge is greatest in rural India; national surveys show that more than half of rural 5th standard students cannot read a 2nd standard level text and only 28% can do a basic division problem.

THE INNOVATION

HLC addresses huge gaps in the local education system by providing pre-school and after-school primary coaching programs to children aged 3-12 in rural Karnataka. HLC also generates local employment by recruiting and training local women to teach their curriculum.

In areas where low-income families typically spend 10-20% of their income on education, HLC charges a low rate of Rs 100-250 ($2-5) per month, making their education services accessible to low-income families.

HLC is pioneering a new model for improving learning outcomes by developing a low-cost system to deliver an supplementary education curriculum that focuses on a targeted set of learning outcomes.

THE IMPACT

HLC’s pilot in 39 villages has enrolled 700 students and employed 50 teachers across two districts in rural Karnataka, demonstrating potential to scale the model significantly.

With Acumen and Lok Capital’s co-investment, the company plans to expand to 100 villages with 300 teachers serving over 7,000 students in the next academic year.