Despite international pledges, there are still millions of pupils around the world without a basic education. Could the private sector be a more effective way of reaching these millions of pupils who are missing out?Should donors be supporting low-cost, low-fee private schools, rather than trying to build state education systems?Or would such schools further deepen the barriers to education for the poorest and most excluded?
“It is clear that the current approach is not working. Getting every child in the world into primary school and learning is proving to be a tough challenge,” Sir Michael Barber Chief education adviser for Pearson and formerly head of delivery unit in 10, Downing Street for Tony Blair says. Here are some of the arguments for and against, from Sir Michael Barber and Prof. Keith Lewin.
There are also claims that the introduction of private for profit schools means a wider choice – but the opposite is the case for the poorest families.The growth of private, fee-paying schools can lead to very stratified choices linked to affordability. This is what successful developing countries have achieved. Charging poor children for their education will never make sense, it will only reduce their choices and make their households poorer.”