Acumen Increases Its Efforts to Improve India’s Private Education With New Investments

By Acumen on April 28, 2015

Acumen announces its new investment in Ignis Careers and Standard of Excellence in Education and Development (SEED) to improve the current state of low-cost, private education in India. India has the largest kindergarten to 10th grade system in the world with more than 1.6 million schools. More than 96 percent of children, ranging from ages 6 to 14, are enrolled in school. However, the quality of education is poor, and half of the children in Grade 5 can only read at a Grade 2 level.

While private education offers an alternative to government schools in India, private schooling has not always equated with better quality education. Private schools, which serve more than 80 million students, are faced with the limited financial resources, substandard curriculum, and low teacher retention. Both Ignis Careers and SEED are committed to improving the quality and performance of low-cost private schools throughout the country.

“Supporting innovative solutions that improve the quality of education for children in affordable private schools is a priority for Acumen,“ said Siddharth Tata, Associate Director at Acumen. “Parents are increasingly demanding better education for their children and are anxious to see tangible improvements in learning outcomes. Both Ignis and SEED bring a unique combination of high-quality content, trained educators, and management experience to bring about improvements in their schools and throughout India.“

Ignis Careers has developed an English and LifeSkills Lab for primary and middle schools that provides high-quality teacher training and curriculum to help low-income students master English, improving their comprehension, logical thinking and opportunities for academic achievement. Since its launch, Ignis has already reached more than 28,000 students and 1,000 teachers.

“Investing in education plays a critical role in addressing social and economic inequalities,” said Rennis Joseph, Founder and Director of Ignis Careers. “Ignis is thrilled to have Acumen as an investor because of its unparalleled commitment to and experience in building sustainable business models that address the needs of underserved populations.”

SEED is a school management company that works with affordable private schools to implement targeted academic and operational improvements to address the gaps in private K-10 education. It has partnered with three schools since 2012, to provide a strong, standardized curriculum, innovative teaching methods and efficient school operations in effort to transform the quality of education and improve learning outcomes.

“We are looking forward to working with Acumen on strengthening our curriculum and the processes needed to scale our operations, so SEED can expand to include more schools and deepen its impact throughout India,” said Manish Kumar, Co-Founder and CEO, India of SEED.

Since 2011, Acumen has invested more than $1 million to help bring affordable, high-quality education to low-income Indian communities. By investing in new, innovative solutions, Acumen aims to close the gap between access, quality, and affordability to generate pathways out of poverty for millions.

“Acumen is committed to building out the social enterprise and impact investing space in India by backing companies such as Ignis Careers and SEED that bear the potential to have the greatest impact on how the poor access critical goods and services,” said Ajit Mahadevan, Acumen India Director.”

To learn more about Acumen’s investments in India, visit www.localhost/investments/?region=india

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