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Private non-state sector engagement in the provision of educational services at the primary and secondary levels in South Asia : an analytical review of its role in school enrollment and student achievement

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  • Dahal, Mahesh
  • Nguyen, Quynh

Abstract

Private (non-state) sector engagement in the provision of educational services at the primary and secondary levels in South Asia has recently undergone remarkable growth. This type of education comes in various forms, such as schools financed and managed by the private sector, schools financed by the government and managed by the private sector, private school vouchers, and tutoring outside the classroom. According to recent household survey data, almost one-third of school-goers aged 6 to 18 years in South Asia go to private schools, with a high concentration in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. Data for India, Nepal, and Pakistan show that on average, private schools perform at least as well as government schools on student test scores, after controlling for socioeconomic factors, and they do so at significantlylower costs to society. However, student achievement varies greatly across schools of each type, with many weak private schools as well as strong government schools. Substantial, albeit indirect, evidence points to teacher behavior and accountability as an important driver of the effectiveness of private schools. In the long run, however, many factors may play important roles in sustaining the private sector's advantage. Another risk is that overall poor quality in a large government sector may set a low benchmark for the private sector. The findings cast doubt on the effectiveness of government regulations for private schools, given weak institutional capacity. Public-private partnerships with effective accountability mechanisms could leverage both equity and efficiency. Finally, it appears important to understand and customize teaching to the child's individual level.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6899.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2014
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6899

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Keywords: Tertiary Education; Primary Education; Education For All; Secondary Education; Teaching and Learning;

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  1. Esther Duflo & Rema Hanna & Stephen P. Ryan, 2012. "Incentives Work: Getting Teachers to Come to School," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1241-78, June.
  2. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
  3. Sarena F. Goodman & Lesley J. Turner, 2013. "The Design of Teacher Incentive Pay and Educational Outcomes: Evidence from the New York City Bonus Program," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 409 - 420.
  4. Abhijit Banerjee & Shawn Cole & Esther Duflo & Leigh Linden, 2005. "Remedying education: Evidence from two randomized experiments in india," Framed Field Experiments, The Field Experiments Website 00122, The Field Experiments Website.
  5. Nazmul Chaudhury & Jeffrey Hammer & Michael Kremer & Karthik Muralidharan & F. Halsey Rogers, 2006. "Missing in Action: Teacher and Health Worker Absence in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 91-116, Winter.
  6. Chudgar, Amita & Quin, Elizabeth, 2012. "Relationship between private schooling and achievement: Results from rural and urban India," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 376-390.
  7. Rajashri Chakrabarti, 2005. "Can Increasing Private School Participation and Monetary Loss in a Voucher Program Affect Public School Performance? Evidence from Milwaukee," Public Economics, EconWPA 0512003, EconWPA.
  8. Rob French & Geeta Kingdon, 2010. "The relative effectiveness of private and government schools in Rural India: Evidence from ASER data," DoQSS Working Papers, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London 10-03, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.
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