The Pre-School industry is estimated to be a 3.24 Billion USD industry and this segment has enjoyed some major investments thanks to a limited regulatory framework and minimal infrastructure required to set up a preschool.
A large part of this segment is still parked in the unorganized sector, driven largely by mom-n-pop shops mushrooming in every street and corner in urban and semi-urban pockets of India. Quality of teachers is an important driver in this industry which has seen a 25-20% YoY growth rate.
Most Pre School(s) often do not have either the financial bandwidth or the ability and/or intent to design and implement a high-quality teacher training program and often depend on Nursery Teacher Training (NTT) courses floated by local Polytechnic colleges. The quality of content and delivery methods of these programs remain suspect as the content and pedagogy is often outdated. As a result, those graduating with NTT diploma from these colleges often end up being rejected by more organized and premium Pre Schools. Such Pre-Schools and pre-primary section of K-12 Schools often end up struggling to meet their hiring requirements.
For starters, the Polytechnic colleges can collaborate with Pre-Schools from the organized sector and update course content which is relevant and updated to the demands of the teaching-learning process of early childhood education. This is both times consuming as well cost-intensive process. One of the other solutions that exist is to source high-quality Pre School teacher training content from global players and ‘Indianize’ the context to suit the needs of our Pre-School classrooms. This not only ensures that the quality of graduates from Teacher Training programs is better, it also ensures that the graduating teacher is equipped with best practices from different classrooms across the world.
At Alphabyte-The Learning Terminal, which is a fully owned brand of NEST Education, we have started working towards connecting the demand and supply threads in the high-quality Pre-School teaching-learning space. We recruit bright young women with the proven track record of academic excellence and the keen interest in Pre School teaching ( most of whom are from lower income group families ) and train them to be high-quality Pre-School teachers. Based on a blended delivery model, these trainee teachers get access to some of the world’s best teaching -learning content on tablet-based Learning Management Systems and also quality interaction with experienced faculty and seasoned Pre-School professionals through workshops. We partner with leaders in early childhood education industry from U.K. and Singapore to offer this program. Apart from early childhood education training, we also provide our trainees with English language skills along with smart technology skills.
In parallel, we also partner with some of the leading Pre-School operators, mapping their hiring requirement with our cohort. Trainees from our first cohort have already been placed with high-quality Pre-School chains with an average monthly salary of INR 15,000.
We are very excited to be connecting the two ends of this thread – great jobs for great Pre-School teachers. We would love to hear from others in the industry , on their experiences, challenges faced and solutions discovered in this segment.