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Education Sector: About
The K-12 Segment Trends


  • One of the objective the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 is to improve the quality of education and infrastructure.

  • UAE's Vision 2021 lays down guidelines to ensure that all schools are equipped with smart systems and devices for all teaching methods, research and projects.

  • Growth of private enrollments is set to 4.1% by the year 2023.
    UAE parents are the highest spenders on education, paying around USD 99,378 annually compared to global average of (USD 44,221). The high level of disposable income is expected to increase demand for premium education facilities and institutes.

  • Private schools in UAE increased at a CAGR of 4.9% during 2012-18 and account for 51% of total schools. (Compound annual Growth rate)

  • Investment deals closed in the UAE education sector have largely been in the private school space, indicating the increasing demand for schools offering international curriculum.


  • The average expected years of schooling in Bahrain is 13.3 years compared to 11.9 years for the Arab states and ranks highest in GCC.

  • Kuwait’s private K-12 education market which is valued at USD 1.3bn in 2017 is expected to grow to USD 2.0bn by 2023 due to growth in school age population as well as increasing willingness amongst parents to pay for private schools that provide differentiated offerings and improved results.

  • Saudi Arabia has only seven international school per one million indicating huge opportunities in private education sector.


  • India has the largest population in the world with 500 million in the age bracket of 5-24 years. This presents a large opportunity in the education space.

  • India has over 250 million school going students, more than any other country.

  • A large English-speaking population allows easy delivery of educational products. India
    was ranked 34 out of 100 countries in English Proficiency Index 2019.

  • Setting up an all new education institution is very difficult and expensive franchising provides opportunities to start a new business with less capital.



  • In 2019, the population of Bangladesh was approximately 168 million, with 34 percent under the age of 15.

  • In 1990, the Bangladesh government approved the Compulsory Primary Education Act, based on which a commitment to a free, formal and compulsory education until grade 5 at primary level was introduced.


  • In Kenya, the transition rate from primary to secondary is currently at 60 percent which is low compared to the anticipated transition rate of 70 percent.

  • In Ghana, at the Basic level, there has been an increase in enrolment  between 2014/15 and 2015/16 for all levels of education from Kindergarten (KG) to Primary to Junior High School.

  • In Nigeria, since 2010, the number of students enrolled in the formal education sector
    has been increasing significantly. School enrollment, secondary (% gross) in Nigeria was reported at 42 % in 2016, according to the World Bank collection.

  • School enrollment, primary, private (% of total primary) in Uganda was reported at 19.61% .

The K-12 Segment Challenges


  • Lack of a skill based curriculum has forced many male students to drop out of secondary

  • Shortage of teachers, especially across international schools is likely to impact quality of education.

  • The UAE education sector is witnessing oversupply of schools which will force the low-performing institutions out of the market, while the medium and high-end schools will see consolidation.

  • Fees across private schools in UAE vary, with American and British schools being more expensive than Asian schools.


  • The increasing salaries of teachers, which increases the cost of education, could impact affordability for parents of private school students (costs not covered by the state), that could impact higher studies enrolment

  • Regulation of school fees may impact profitability of private schools, with increasing cost of providing education. This could discourage investments in the education sector.

  • The expatriate population, which is responsible for driving growth of the education sector in all the GCC nations, is very low at 10% of the total population.


  • Enrolment rate across the senior classes is quite low, while the dropout rate of girls has witnessed an increase in comparison to that of boys at primary and secondary levels.

  • Setting up an all new education institution is very difficult and expensive. Franchising provides opportunities to start a new business with less capital.

  • There are challanges in financing such as inadequate funding.



Coming soon


  • Absence of minimum professional standards and benchmarks for use when appointing institutional managers

  • Weak accountable governance structures and weak monitoring and tracking systems

  • Inadequate management skills for principals and Boards of Management;

  • Mismanagement/misappropriation of resources and funds at the school level

  • Lack of implementation and
    monitoring of codes of conduct for management, teachers and other school personnel to prevent school-related exploitation and abuse of learners

  • Lack of standards for maximizing physical safety in and around schools;

  • Lack of a framework on how to
    engage communities in the establishment, management and governance of schools.

  • Undue political interference in the management of schools.

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