CORE Projects and Technologies Ltd, a technology provider to educational institutions, recently disclosed that it is planning to open 30 schools, with an initial investment of INR 450 crore. These schools are to include some of the schools that are to offer an international baccalaureate curriculum. The plans are in line with the recent trend of for-profit companies from the so-called organised sector entering the business of education. Additionally the firm is bidding to set up 50 schools in partnership with the Rajasthan government, and wants to partner the Central government to establish more schools across India.
With a specialty of implementing information and communication technology projects in educational institutes, the company is listed at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), with a market valuation of more than INR 3,000 crore. It has a presence in the US, the UK and Africa as well where it has been providing education technology contents in the K-12 segment and vocational training courses. CORE plans to set up three kinds of schools: high-end ones in the metropolitan cities that offer the popular international baccalaureate (IB) curriculum; residential schools with sports academies; and schools offering a CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) curriculum, catering to middle-class families in smaller cities. The first IB school will be ready by 2011. The company is also interested to participate in state and central governments' plans to open schools through public-private partnership (PPP). In Rajasthan, where CORE Projects is bidding to open 50 schools under such a scheme, it has already carried out feasibility studies in a few districts. Implementing ICT projects includes computerizing the school, digitising parts of the course curricula and training teachers on how to use computers. CORE Projects is also in contention for ICT contracts in Bihar, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.