Profiting from the poor: The emergence of multinational edu-businesses in Hyderabad, India

Dr. Sangeeta Kamat, Dr. Carol Anne Spreen, Indivar Jonnalagadda,

published 17 May 2016 updated 6 January 2022
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The report co-authored by Kamat S., Spreen C.A. and Jonnalagadda I. lays out the broad underpinnings of the corporate interests in for-profit education and how these efforts undermine public education as a fundamental human right.

It provides a detailed understanding of how the commercialisation of education through scalable chains of schools and selling educational products and services unfolds on the ground in Hyderabad. This study of the expansive and growing private education sector in India revealed a complex well-networked assemblage of global actors that are invested in the business of education privatisation and who stand to make a considerable profit from it. Two actors that stand out as having launched the low-fee private schools (lfps) ‘movement’ in India are James Tooley (professor of education policy at Newcastle University, uk) and the global corporation, Pearson. This report critically assesses these multinational actors’ claims to make schooling for the poor profitable while simultaneously promising quality education. It demonstrates that, despite expectations, the schools have not been profitable and they have also failed to deliver anything close to quality education.