For the last few years, besides all other types of work, even education has started to get outsourced in many ways. One kept hearing of incidents where college students from western countries got their term papers, project reports etc researched and written by Indian students or professionals for a fee. A Bangalore based company also started providing tuition in various subjects to children outside the country using the web as the communication medium. Teachers from India get on the web and teach children, and it seems quite successfully.
Now, the latest is that Ashmount Primary (a school in North London) has outsourced mathematics teaching to India. Though the news surprises you a bit, its not very untoward if you think about it. The reason for outsourcing (regardless of industry) is lack of relevant skills in the geography and thus the related cost. That is what made it work for R&D, and IT. And similarly lack of teachers in the schooling system is making it work for Ashmount Primary.
BBC reported that the students found this way of teaching to be fun. Bright Spart Education Company (BSEC) which is facilitating the classes, uses about 100 teachers from Ludhiana. Lessons get booked over a day in advance at at the rate of £12 an hour, for blocks of two to five hours. The only drawback, if you will, in the system is that the teacher and the student do not get to see each other. But, that is only a surmountable (over time) technology issue.
Please indulge my thought instigator for a moment - one of the largest problems in the education system in India is the lack of teachers. Outsourcing of education (though good for individuals) will take teachers away to teach the kids in western countries. So, the impact is...