IMPLICATIONS FOR A FOR-PROFIT PRIMARY SCHOOL BY THE THE SOCIO-CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT OF INDIA

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Companies and financial institutions seeking benefit need an in-depth view of their market climate. The corporate world consolidates internal and external forces, some of which are not under the jurisdiction of the organization, while others are under the influence of the company. International companies looking to expand into new spaces also perform a competition review to determine their strengths and weaknesses prior to carrying out operations. External business environments typically describe partnerships between companies, firms and establishments and their customers. While every culture is distinct and culturally defined, there are different patterns in goods and services. As a company in the service industry, the children for posterity international school seeks to venture into the Asian market owing to the high illiteracy levels, reduced operational costs and the tax incentives provided by a local county within India. While for-profit education exhibits promising returns in India, the socio-cultural realities in various traditional centers bar school-aged girls and boys from accessing primary education. This paper, therefore, highlights the socially constructed practices and cultures that pose real challenges to the establishment of the business in India.

The Socio-Cultural Environment of Odisha, India and Its Implications for a For-Profit Primary School

As an education-based business, the board of directors has exhibited great interest in pursuing the African market. Reduced literacy levels among girls and a shift of student enrollment from the government to private schools create unique opportunities for the business. The children for posterity business seeks entry into the Indian market through the Indian government - which promises high tax incentives for foreign-based education institutions that aim to improve the literacy of its citizens.

While India offers unique privileges that may seem lucrative to our business, a keen focus on the overarching socio-cultural realities is essential to improve our operational ability and provide us a better understanding of the glaring challenges and benefits. As such, it is critical to understand that India’s population is about 1.2 billion persons, has unique cultural barriers against girls and women, and it unofficially plays host to approximately 200,000 refugees and asylum seekers. Although India is not a signatory to any united nations refugee agreement protocols, the Indian government seems to deal refugees and asylum seekers through an ad-hoc institution.

The Socio-cultural Environment Concept

In broad terms, the socio-cultural environment relates to both the social fabric and the way of life for specific populations. As highlighted by Masoje, (2012), culture, beliefs, attitudes, and habits are products of generational learning and are outcomes of socialization. Perceptions and attitudes towards are built and learned over a period of years, and they differ from one community to the other. Understanding socially-constructed practices in India and their effect on primary schooling improves market performance knowledge. The Socio-cultural Environment in India

As a result of the influx of refugees, the disintegration of economic opportunities and the humanitarian conditions, it is difficult for the population to afford basic primary education. It may, therefore, be an up-hill task operating in a crisis environment. While this challenge exists, competition further worsens our case for India. A few local and foreign non-governmental NGO's provide limited education, food, and protection for the population in India. Given the competition from the government and donor-funded school, it may be expensive for the girls for posterity business to have the edge over such organizations with substantial financial support. Monovo et al. (2017) similarly draw a parallel on Fiji’s culture and the tourism sector development, therefore impressing on the fact that businesses are dependent on socio-cultural environments.

Proponents of the oligopoly market would suggest that the children for posterity primary school business stares at considerable profit considering there are few primary schools in India; however, the underlying socio-cultural environment predisposes girls and boys to diverse challenges which bar them from enrolling in our school and promoting the business.

Globally, varying trade environments influence the profitability, transaction, and viability of various businesses (Asdullah et al. 2015). As such, transactional institutions depend on the prevailing market environments for the essential resources and a profit-friendly market for their merchandise and services. As an international school, the "children for posterity" business takes cognizance of the complex socio-cultural factors influencing its performance in its newly identified market. As part of girls for posterity's strategic plan, entry into India and other Asian countries remains eminent and focal in providing world-class educational service and promoting literacy in developing countries.

In particular, India exhibits much promise in improving girls' access to education and human rights. By creating gender policies in higher education, and leading in girls' affirmative action, the Indian market is a prime entry point for the Girls for Posterity business. India's diverse subpopulations from affluent to less affluent locations reveal a wide range of unique values. As a multi-cultural society, the education business needs to take cognizance of the diverse values.

Survival in the Indian market hinges on the ability to adapt to the preferences and needs of girls and boys from these diverse communities. India’s rural Odisha is among the least performing in girls' and boys' primary education. While the area provides incentives for international education businesses offering subsidized services to its citizenry, there is a great need in understanding the socio-cultural challenges that may inform our entry into the coastal region of Odisha.

History of For-profit Education in India

Each society and population exhibit particular behaviors, lifestyles and norms, which in sum, describe their culture. Patterns of access to services and goods are reflections of population preference and are essential sources of information for establishing and managing businesses. In India, the government's free primary education project experienced massive shortcomings as evidenced by mass enrollment and reduced teacher motivation in the public sector. Following a move by the state to revoke the statutory directive that only give legitimacy for non-profit institutions to operate private schools, the 2010-2011 revisit of the mid-year plan provided more significant incentives for the entry of more for-profit primary and secondary schools.

A keener insight India’s pre-2010 primary education showcased poor service delivery evidenced in high student to teacher ratios, reduced learning infrastructure and over-crowding in classrooms, therefore leading to a decline in performance by free-primary schools, as explained by Ramanathan and P.B (2011). Public sector teacher strikes have additionally continued to hurt government-sponsored education programs, thus giving more opportunity for the entry of profit-making primary schools. While political factors give rise to profit-making education systems, cultural impediments limit girls' and boys' enrollment, retention and completion of primary school education.

Harmful traditional practices in Odisha, India.

India plays host to thousands of refugees and asylum seekers practicing a wide range of precepts, therefore, predisposing school-going children to child marriages. While child marriage rates in India vary, child marriage in rural Odisha is exceptionally high; because girls in most rural areas are married in exchange for livestock and other forms of money or as liabilities in families. While our business seeks explicitly to appeal to girls living in Odisha, the major scare for the business establishment is the backlash that education for girls will create with locals of the area.

Most communities in Odisha, India practice child marriage. It is usually particularly strong mitigating child marriage and promoting girl child education because girls are often betrothed to often wealthy and senior men at early stages of life. Taking cognizance of the preceding, girls in primary schools are prime targets, as they fetch more money While child marriage is a direct contradiction of international law under the international rules on human rights, Odisha community silently practices child marriage. A study summation conducted by UNICEF in 2014 revealed that about 3 million girls below that age of 18 years are child brides in India.

Other harmful traditional practices include female genital mutilation. Female genital mutilation, as explained by Longman & Bradley (2015), consists of the cutting of girls’ sexual organ, as a method of reducing sexual sensitivity and interest in the girls. While these practices occur in private, the health consequences on girls' places the business at a worrying position, given its potential to create more biological, psychological and emotional distress in girls. Such consequences may result in girls' dismal performance and a general reduction in educational quality. Like every other business, the children for posterity business needs utilize and adapt to its social-cultural environment or may risk survival. School going children are, additionally targets of perpetrators who seek to de-westernize the girls. Establishing the school in Odisha will predispose the girls to such cases of sexual and gender-based violence.

Girl Child Preference over Boy Child

As a reinforcing factor, locals in India are yet to fully embrace formal education for girls and place more education value on the boy child. The gender agenda has taken more traction in the recent past. Evidently, in most patriarchal societies, there is little emphasis on girl child education. A similar cultural inclination by Odisha community places girls at the bottom of the pecking order right next to women. As such, the girls for posterity business may spend most of its resources on protecting girls and creating community structures to avert the perpetration of child marriage and neglect on its pupils as opposed to improving other areas critical for learning. Evidently, the backlash experienced by the clash between human rights protection and cultural rights antagonizes the business and places the company at a significant risk.

High unemployment Rates in Odisha

Rural Odisha continues to exhibit high illiteracy levels in India. As such, the population does not benefit much from employment opportunities either from the government or other international businesses. While employment may only be feasible for citizens coming from different parts of the country, their hiring may create animosity between the institution and the locals who often revolt. The "children for posterity business" offers unique vocational music skills - which require highly skilled training usually found among foreign nationals. Given the high likelihood of revolt from the locals upon hiring foreign workers, the business envisages the risks as too high.

Livelihoods and Active School Participation

Singh and Sadangi (2012) document that communities in Odisha predominantly practice cattle rearing, farming, and forestry as forms of livelihood. As a pastoralist community, young boys and adolescent boys are expected by the society to tend to the animals. Given the recent unfavorable conditions experienced in Odisha, it is difficult to establish central feeding points due to the lack of sufficient rainfall and the lack of green grass. School-going boys are therefore expected to herd the livestock by walking long distances. Given this reality, many school-going boys are unable to complete their studies due to the societal role apportioned to them. Evidently, the children for prosperity primary school will be unable to educate a good number of students.

It is evident that the gender roles for girls and boys and the resulting lack of student quorum may not be favorable to sustain our operating budget and will, therefore, lead the company to losses. Given the preceding, the social needs and upheld practices of communities in Odisha, the business is bound to necessitate a change in our service package.

Perception of Formal and Informal Education

Informal education in rural Odisha provides the basis for sharing of diverse cultural attributes and practices. For an extended period, the pastoralist community has embraced an informal education system in which their elders taught the young through ceremonies and initiation practices. Modern education systems are viewed as 21st-century slavery. The advent of formal education for communities in Odisha, as explained by Vishnu (2016) meant disruption of their cultural heritage and girls and women are among the least literate, especially in Nabarangpur. While the children for primary setup believes in equipping children with 21st-century skills and knowledge for posterity, its rubric does not augur well with the cultural needs of girls and boys who require traditional training from their elders.

Conclusion

The socio-cultural environment in India provides a discouraging context for the primary school business. The underlying cultural practices may create enormous disparities for the entry, retention, and transition of boys and girls from primary school to secondary school, therefore affecting our ability to run the schools and break even. The children for posterity primary school business seems to well appeal to middle-class citizens. The business case for setting up in India’s Odisha does not seem to forecast on profits. By considering the possible clash with locals when recruiting high-skill teachers from abroad, the high drop-out rates as evidenced by the UNHCR reports in the neighboring reports, the general lack of regard to education and the child marriage practice, the school business may not survive the odds.

While India provides generous tax incentives, evidence provided suggests serious negative consequences on the business if we are to establish in India.

References

Asdullah, M., Rehman, Z., Ahmad, R., 2015. Impact of External Factors on Fast Food Business 9.

Longman, C., & Bradley, T. (2015). Interrogating harmful cultural practices: gender, culture and coercion.

Movono A., Dahlesh., Movono A., & Becken S. (2017). Fijian culture and the environment: a focus on the ecological and social interconnectedness of tourism development. Journal of Sustainable Tourism. 1-19.

Oghenerobaro Mamuzo, Akpor-Robaro, Masoje. (2012). The Impact of Socio-Cultural Environment On Entrepreneurial Emergence: A Theoretical Analysis Of Nigerian Society. The International Institute for Science, Technology and Education (IISTE). http://www.iiste.org/Journals/index.php/EJBM/article/view/3016.

Ramanathan, H., P.B, P., 2011. Where motive is profit, education takes a back seat

Routray, P., Schmidt, W.-P., Boisson, S., Clasen, T., Jenkins, M., 2015. Socio-cultural and behavioural factors constraining latrine adoption in rural coastal Odisha: an exploratory qualitative study. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-015-2206-3

Singh, A., Sadangi, B.N., 2012. Livelihood Patterns and Resource Base of Tribals in Koraput and Rayagada District of Odisha 1, 307–312.

United Nations Children’s Fund, Ending Child Marriage: Progress and prospects, UNICEF, New York, 2014

Vishnu, U., 2016. This way to school; How dismal indicators for education in Odisha’s Nabarangpur are slowly changing. The Indian Express. Available at: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/district-zero-odisha-nabarangpur-education-system-2801034/[Accessed Nov 25, 2017].

October 12, 2022
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