GEMBA alumni launches sustainable education for world’s poorest children

19 December 2017
40K to provide access to affordable education around the world
Clary Castrission, an alumni of the Business School’s executive education program, has launched a “sustainable” education system in India, which he hopes will eventually improve the lives of millions of underprivileged children around the world.
Clary Castrission in India

The social enterprise, known as 40K, currently has 1200 children enrolled in its flagship English language course across 34 Indian villages.

Mr Castrission says 40K aims to provide access to affordable English tuition in restricted environments globally in a way that does not rely on external organisations for funding.

The program works by charging an accessible fee, usually $2 - $4 per month, for 75 minutes of English tuition after school, five days a week. The small fee covers the facilitator’s salary and accommodation without the need for charitable or government support.

Most of the learning is done on small tablets.

"In India, English is the language of mobilisation," Mr Castrission recently told the Australian Financial Review. "All the colleges are taught in English. If you're going to be working in better jobs they're in English."

Mr Castrission says the creation of 40K was inspired by the work of Nobel peace prize-winning Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus who pioneered micro finance as a means of helping the world's poorest people improve their standard of living.

40K was made possible by a win in the Technology against Poverty prize offered by the Australian government and Google and support from the Australian software company Atlassian.

Mr Castrission, an Order of Australia recipient, has just completed the Business School’s top ranking Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) Program.

The 18 month GEMBA, which reflects the Business School's strong commitment to experiential learning, consists of five, two week modules two of which are undertaken in Australia. The others are delivered abroad.

The program provides high-level leadership development and engaging learning opportunities for senior managers and entrepreneurs like Mr Castrission.

Mr Castrission was a recipient of the Business School’s Alumni Scholarship for Social Enterprise Excellence.

The Dean of the Business School, Professor Greg Whitwell, said that 40K reflected the School’s focus on “business not as usual” which demands that “we constantly challenge the status quo in order to provide leadership for good”.

Read the full story in the Australian Financial Review.