Child’s education highest priority for Indian parents; sea of opportunity for EdTech startups

Education isn’t just a route to success. Standing at the threshold of the third decade of the twenty first century, education has become a means of survival. It doesn’t just bestow you with the treasure of languages, but gifts you a broader perspective. In the world of internet and social media, when it has become extremely easy to blur the lines between facts and false, it’s the blessing of education that saves you from oblivion, provides a vantage point and more whilst evolving you into a civil and informed personality.

Establishing the significance of this tool of life, it comes down to the role of parents who become the ultimate determinants of a child’s future. Their own informed experiences direct their decisions regarding the education of the next generation. And to a great relief, parents are realising the substantiality of investing in their child’s education. The sheer numbers these investments involve might even be mind boggling for many.

According to the previous year’s promulgation, the expenditure on education has only boomed. While the world average spending on children from primary school to university undergraduate levels is about $44,221 (Rs 29 lakh), as per an HSBC report: Higher and higher, The Value of Education series; Hong Kong residents being the highest in the world, shelling out $132,161 (Rs 86 lakh), a great surprise were the Indians, who had spent $18,909 (Rs 12.25 lakh) on their children’s school or university tuition fees, books, transport and accommodation.

The ‘Value of Education’ represented views of 8,481 parents in 15 countries and territories, including Australia, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, UAE, UK and the US, positioning India 13th among the 15 countries surveyed. About 89% Indians fund their children’s education, 79% want them to do post-graduation and 89% are willing to ‘make sacrifices’ for their kids. Most parents in India (89%) help fund their child’s current stage of education. Over nine in ten (94%) parents want their children to do post-graduation, and of this number, 79% expect to contribute towards funding that too. Postgraduate degrees are necessary for jobs, feel 87% Indians, fourth highest among all surveyed markets.

“In today’s highly competitive global job market, education for young people has never been more important. Parents across the world appreciate this and are willing to invest time and money to help their children get the best start in life. Their unwavering support shows in the personal, lifestyle and financial sacrifices they are making. From forfeiting ‘me time’ to giving up hobbies or reducing leisure activities, parents are going the extra mile to help their child succeed,” said S Ramakrishnan, head – retail banking and wealth management, HSBC India.

Parents in India wish for a secure future for their child and embark on making exceptional sacrifices for their children. About 89% of parents in India are ready to make personal sacrifices for their child to succeed, becoming the fourth highest in all surveyed markets. Around 44% of parents cut down on the budgets for leisure activities, becoming the fourth highest in the world to do so. Almost a third (32%) parents work extra hours in their existing jobs, second highest among all surveyed markets. Contributing lesser and lesser to their own long-term savings or investments or have done so in the past, over a quarter (27%), joint third highest in all markets surveyed.

Such surveys have been being conducted from more than a decade now. And all of them have revealed that budgeting proves to be the most vital. With more than half (59%) Indians funding their child’s education from day-to-day incomes and 48% getting the money from general savings, investments or insurance, becoming the third most likely in all surveyed markets; India stands as almost the third (30%), getting the money through a specific education savings or investment plan being ranked fourth in all surveyed markets. It is a very marginal number that still appear lost in this department i.e. nearly a quarter (22%) who are obviated to the facts regarding how much has been contributed each year towards their child’s education.

“While parents recognise that educating a child can be expensive, it is easy to underestimate the full and long-term costs. According to the survey, 89% of Indian parents are ready to make personal sacrifices for their child to succeed. In nine of the 15 countries surveyed, paying for their child’s education is most likely to be parents’ biggest financial commitment, above others such as mortgage/rent payments and household bills,” Ramakrishnan added.

To understand education sector better, its prospects and results, parents have been rerouting towards counselling and other forms of guidance. It not only helps the child make a sound career choice, but also enables the parents to understand and invest intelligently. A number of Edtech startups are also coming up to help evolve the education industry, with all its aspects involved, towards an intellectual socio- economic system of the world.

On and after a detailed study of facts, figures, surveys and analysis, it becomes quite comprehensible that how important this sector of a human’s life is and what is being done to solidify it, especially in the Indian section of affairs. Parents have become increasingly diligent and are investing hefty amount of bucks into brains.

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