Hippocampus Learning Centres joins the Business Call to Action to expand education in rural India.

05 Nov 2013

Company plans to bridge the gap in learning outcomes

New York, Bangalore -- The Hippocampus Learning Centres (HLC), a leading social enterprise, has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) to address the basic educational needs in rural India. The company plans to expand its education programs and teacher training for women through its innovative Kindergarten and After-School programmes to over 380,000 children by 2018.

To improve access to quality pre-school education, Hippocampus Learning Centre (HLC) is focusing on providing high-quality learning opportunities at an affordable cost. The company began operations in 2010 to better address the educational gaps of large populations and is now working in low-income communities across two districts in Karnataka, Mandya and Davangere.

The Centres have established a kindergarten program to promote early learning skills and two signature after-School programs, namely GBR+ (Grow By Reading), which helps boost comprehension and fluency of the English language; and MathStar, a specialized program aimed at strengthening the foundation for greater learning in mathematics. Both programs are designed to promote a greater likelihood of educational success from the onset by providing the tools to reinforce ongoing learning skills.

“HLC’s educational programs meet critical school needs by providing quality education options in low-income communities,” said Sahba Sobhani, Acting Programme Manager of the Business Call to Action. “The valuable teacher training provides women with the necessary skills to access better work opportunities while, at the same time, help spur educational access for the whole community,” said Sobhani.

Recognizing that teachers are a vital part of providing greater access to education, HLC will provide an estimated 24,000 women with training for employment as teachers by 2018. The additional teachers will expand capacity and enable a greater number of school children to participate in HLC’s basic education and after school reading program and learning activities.

In addition, HLC’s teacher training provides valuable alternate employment opportunities for rural women seeking livelihood opportunities outside of the traditional agriculture and manual labor options.

“We are working to provide greater access to services and programs that improve learning and promote a stronger educational foundation for children in rural India. More importantly, our low cost services target not only children, but families in low-income communities where no educational services are often readily available,” said Umesh Malhotra, Founder of Hippocampus Learning Centers.

The company plans to expand its educational services in rural India by adding 60 new centres to its 100 in 2014. The centres will offer both Kindergarten and after school programs in English and math that will reach an estimated 12,000 children in existing districts.

Note to editors

Business Call to Action (BCtA) is a global initiative that challenges companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for development impact along with commercial success. The initiative is the result of a partnership between the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), UK Department for International Development (DFID), US Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Global Compact, and the Clinton Global Initiative to meet the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Companies report on progress toward commitments on an annual basis. Please visit BCtA's website or join the conversation on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative.

Hippocampus Learning Centres was set up as a private company in 2011 to provide quality learning to children in rural India through its Kindergarten and after school education Centres. HLC is funded Acumen Fund, Lok Capital and Unitus Seed Fund. Spearheading the activities in Hippocampus is Umesh Malhotra the CEO and co-Founder, whose entrepreneurship experiences range from social enterprises, IT services to restaurants. For his work with underprivileged children, Umesh was selected an Ashoka Fellow in 2008. Umesh is a graduate of IIT-Madras, one of India's leading engineering institutes. Hippocampus Learning Centers. Please visit Hippocampus' Facebook Page.

Contact Information

BCtA: Karen Newman, karen.newman@undp.org, +1.212.906.5194