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British Asian Trust initiative to focus on education for 4 million kids in India

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The British Asian Trust is spearheading a major educational initiative, LiftEd, aiming to enhance foundational literacy and numeracy skills for four million Indian children.

This five-year project, focusing on children in grades 1-3, has garnered a significant $20 million investment from a consortium of 26 partners, including notable names like the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Reliance Foundation, and Standard Chartered Bank, a press release from the British Asian Trust said.

LiftEd, short for Learning and Innovation in Foundational Literacy and Numeracy to Transform Education, aligns with the Indian government’s emphasis on foundational literacy and numeracy as essential for further learning.

The initiative plans to collaborate with state governments and schools, offering educator training and deploying digital solutions through an EdTech Accelerator to support at-home learning, particularly for students from low-income communities.

The British Asian Trust, established in 2007 by King Charles III (then The Prince of Wales) alongside leading British Asian business figures, has been a frontrunner in the realm of social finance.

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The Trust’s involvement in social finance initiatives has received commendation and support from The King. With a history of successful collaborations and innovative social finance approaches, the Trust is poised to lead LiftEd effectively.

LiftEd is a progression from the Trust’s earlier $11 million Quality Education India Development Impact Bond (QEI DIB), launched in 2018 with the support of the UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

This bond, the largest of its kind in education at the time, significantly enhanced learning outcomes for 200,000 Indian students over four years.

Additionally, the Trust is engaged in a Skill Impact Bond in India, aimed at addressing skill gaps and employment challenges.

Richard Hawkes, Chief Executive of the British Asian Trust, expressed his enthusiasm for LiftEd, drawing on the Trust’s seven years of experience in social finance. He said, “Having pioneered the use of social finance in South Asia over the last 7 years, we continue to cement our position as a global leader in this field.”

He emphasised that LiftEd builds upon the Trust’s previous successes, especially the QEI DIB, and is set to make a significant impact on the foundational learning skills of 4 million children, thus laying a strong foundation for their future success.

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