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IT jobs promote English school enrollments

New Delhi: Over the last two decades there has been a large increase in the outsourced jobs in the country. It has directly boosted enrollment in schools, shows a study.

A study done by Emily Oster and Bryce Millet of the University of Chicago, and another by Robert Jensen of the UCLA School of Public Affairs in the US, released last month, indicate the opening of ITeS centres has directly boosted enrollment in English schools, locally.

ITeS, or business process outsourcing (BPO), usually refers to outsourced back-office functions such as human resources, finance and accounting as well as front office jobs such as customer-related services.
The industry has grown to employ 2.3 million people directly and benefit 8.2 million through indirect employment, up from 56,000 in 1991, according to Nasscom. The lobby group projects aggregated revenue of $73.1 billion (Rs3.25 trillion) from the IT-BPO sector in 2010.

Oster’s study considers the impact of the opening of ITeS centres on school enrollment in three southern states, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

“We find that when an ITeS centre is introduced to a pin code, school enrollment in that area increases in the next year…ITeS centres do not impact schools that are more than 3-4 miles away. The results suggest that enrollment may continue to increase as ITeS centres and other businesses of this type become more common,” Oster said in an email response to Mint.

According to the study, which considers figures from 1990-2007, an additional ITeS centre in a pin code prompts a 5.7 percent jump in school enrollment.

“India has had the problem of unemployed graduates. This is where people felt that the education system was failing them, and hence saw little point in investing in it,” said Vrinda Walavalkar, Senior Vice-President, Corporate Communications, Firstsource Solutions, a BPO firm.

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