The education industry is looking at an increased public-private partnership (PPP) in educational and training initiatives for matching skill-set demands of the industry with the available talent. Education is among a few sectors that has been insulated from the impact of a global economic slowdown but faces a huge challenge of reducing the gap of educated yet unemployable talent. 'We would like to see more investment in PPP programmes to improve education quality at the bottom of the pyramid,' said Shantanu Prakash, chief executive officer and managing director, Educomp Solutions Ltd, a leading private player in the sector.
The country has a total of 219 million students of which 40 % are enrolled with private schools while about 142 million children are not in the school system. About 75,000 private schools account for only 7 % of the total institutions. 'Indian education and training sector has not received the attention it deserves,' said Ninad Karpe, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Aptech. The Confederation of Indian Industries has recommended that the government should strengthen initiatives to involve participation from foreign and private universities for technical education. The industry body has also said that there is a need to introduce interdisciplinary projects, upgrade existing courses with industry requirement and introduce independent accreditation systems. International brokerage firm CLSA estimates the size of the private education market in India to be worth US$40 billion (about INR 190,000 crore) with the Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-12) segment valued at US$20billion (INR 96,000) and private professional colleges at US$7 billion (INR 34,000 crore).