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Why the Surge of Private Schools in the Developing World is Good

Why the Surge of Private Schools in the Developing World is Good

In the developing world, where access to quality education is shockingly abysmal, the failure of state governments to provide education has resulted in an influx in private schools- some which cost a little as $1 a week.

"The failure of state education, combined with the shift in emerging economies from farming to jobs that need at least a modicum of education, has caused a private-school boom. According to the World Bank, across the developing world a fifth of primary-school pupils are enrolled in private schools, twice as many as 20 years ago," said The Economist.

Despite opposition from political figures and educationalists who argue that for-profit education should never be the answer, The Economist argues that the boom of private schools is in the best interest of the children it serves.

For one, early research has proven that children in private schools globally perform better across subjects while operating at a third of the cost as public schools, the article said.

And "private schools are innovative. Since technology has great (though as yet mostly unrealised) potential in education, this could be important. Bridge [International Academies] gives teachers tablets linked to a central system that provides teaching materials and monitors their work. Such robo-teaching may not be ideal, but it is better than lessons without either materials or monitoring."

State governments in developing countries, The Economist said, should be getting involved with private education instead of discouraging it. This includes potentially subsidizing the schools, considering voucher programs, and in turn regulating the quality of private schools. But if the government is too ineffective to do so, the article says it should sit back.

"The growth of private schools is a manifestation of the healthiest of instincts: parents’ desire to do the best for their children. Governments that are too disorganised or corrupt to foster this trend should get out of the way."

Read the full story here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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