Beautiful Tree Trust (BTT) and Empathy Learning Systems (ELS) are joint initiatives aiming to extend quality education to the poor in Hyderabad’s old city slums. BTT is a non-profit trust that runs eight English-medium schools serving over 3,000 students in nursery through 10th standard grade levels. ELS is a complementary education services company that provides lesson plans to BTT, trains teachers, and offers other needed support services. Although ELS staff members are closely associated with BTT, they also provide for-profit services to other low-cost private schools that are not run by BTT.
BTT schools target the poor through their low cost structure. They charge between 100-300 Rupees a month, depending on grade level, in addition to yearly fees of up to 500 Rupees. The schools are located within poor communities and normally staffed with teachers from the surrounding areas. The entrepreneur who co-founded and runs the schools, Mohammad Anwar, is well known in the community and respected as a champion of low-cost education in Hyderabad. This shapes the chain’s reputation to parents as a safe and reliable option for educating their children, which is especially important for reaching female students in Hyderabad’s conservative neighborhoods. The schools offer students access to computers and other technology resources.
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CEI approaches in actionDeliveryChains or Networks of schools/centersFinancingStudent supportSchool support
Model details2009Not-for-profitComprehensive curriculumActiveLong-term projectHousehold funds100-300 rupees for monthly tuition
School fees only (books, uniforms, and other supplies separate)Empathy Learning Systems3,31750%50%
BTT's schools are located in low-income communities in Hyderabad's old city slums, and the students that attend live in these communities. In addition to catering to low-income families by charging low monthly fees, BTT provides scholarships for those families not about to afford the monthly and yearly fees.
The BTT chain began with 7 schools and has added an additional school. Total enrollment has increased by 548 students since the start of the program, and is continuing to grow gradually.
The BTT chain is opening two more schools in 2013 with a goal of continued growth into new communities.
Monitoring & EvaluationStandardized assessment performanceInternal assessment performanceTeacher attendanceStudent attendanceTeacher retentionStudent retentionIncreased enrollmentYes
Standardized Assessment Performance - Literacy | Since 2009, pass rates for the 10th Standard Public Exam have increased each year at BTT's main school (the first school in the chain).