Filling a gap
The primary and secondary education sector in India, also called K12, faces two significant challenges:
- Increasing dropout rates and out-of-school children. Many of these out-of-school children come from a disadvantaged position: they are poor, they are a girl or they are part of a minority group or lower caste. Many children drop out of school because of lack of financing, a lack of schools in rural areas or poverty and malnutrition.
- Poor quality of education. Many schools have inadequate infrastructure and facilities such as substandard classrooms, playgrounds and labs, no access to clean drinking water and no separate toilets for girls. Furthermore, high teacher vacancies, lack of teacher training and high pupil-teacher ratio affect the quality of education provided.
Shiksha seeks to address these challenges by providing loans to affordable private schools for primary and secondary education to improve their infrastructure or expand their capacity. Many schools in India simply do not have access to finance. Large banks and other lenders require extensive documentation, stable cash flow and proof of income for granting loans. Most schools do not meet these requirements and are unable to borrow from traditional financial institutions. Shiksha aims to fill this gap.
Impacting the lives of 1.1 million children
The loans provided by Shiksha vary from USD 500,000 to USD 10 million. These are used to build an extra classroom, a new lab, or better facilities for the children. Since its inception, the institution has financed over 2,200 affordable private schools in the southern part of the country, impacting the lives of 1.1 million children.
Shiksha increasingly provides small loans to middle and lower-income families to pay for the school fees, books, uniforms etc. These loans allow children to attend better schools and to lower the drop-out rate from primary to secondary education. Shiksha has provided loans to almost 45,000 students.
Senior Investment Officer Sagar Thakar: “Many parents want their children to study at better schools as they see good education as a pathway out of poverty. It gives children the right tools to create opportunities for themselves and for their families. Shiksha is well-positioned for further growth and our debt financing enables them to expand their operations to the semi-urban areas.”
Sustainable Development Goals
In view of Shiksha’s mission and activities, the institution touches upon the following Sustainable Development Goals:
Explore our impact report ‘Creating an inclusive world’ to find out more about our role as investor in financial inclusion. The report presents our 2019 results in a context of number and stories and showcases our mission to make money work for positive change.