Varthana Finance aims to overcome this gap by providing short and long-term financing to more than 3,500 affordable private schools. These education institutions enroll children from low-income and lower middle-income households, thereby impacting the lives of an estimated 2.5 million children. Triodos Microfinance Fund has provided a loan to Varthana to further increase its outreach.
The quality of education offered at government schools is often lacking, and many parents want to send their children to an affordable private school. The private schools financed by Varthana charge schools fees between INR 500 – INR 1,500 (USD 7 – USD 22) per month.
Loans and lessons
Schools typically use Varthana’s loans to improve or expand building infrastructure, such as adding classrooms, or to buy new education materials. In addition to financial services offered to affordable private schools, Varthana offers training to:
- school leaders in financial planning and business growth through the Integrated School Accelerator Program;
- teachers in incorporating different teaching methods;
- parents in the importance of increasing their engagement with the school and their children;
- students in English and other subjects to improve their academic performance.
The topic of education has been given a global platform through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One of the goals presented by the United Nations – SDG 4 – is to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.