Low-fee private schooling

Children looking out the window of a school bus

The private sector has become an important part of schooling in many developing countries. In many parts of Africa, Asia (especially South Asia) and Latin America, private schools have increased their share in enrolment in recent years and are often perceived to be higher quality than state schools. However, important concerns remain regarding the ability of children from poorer and marginalized groups to access private schooling.

Young Lives research has combined insights from our long-running household-based data collection, school-based surveys in primary schools and qualitative fieldwork to focus on three key questions:

  • Why do some parents and children choose private schools?
  • How equitable is access to private schooling, for boys and girls and for children from more or less advantaged backgrounds?
  • How large is the causal effect of private schools on learning achievement?

Most Young Lives research on private schools has focused on the Indian (Andhra Pradesh) sample, where these issues have been most salient within our study countries. However, the role of the private sector seems to be expanding also elsewhere e.g. in urban Ethiopia and through private tutoring in Vietnam.  This remains an active area of Young Lives research. The school surveys which will take place in 2016-17 will offer additional insights into this issue, in particular by finding out more about the role private schools play at secondary level.

Latest research: Private schools

Factors Affecting Successful Completion of Secondary Education in India
Policy paper
Undisclosed Effects of Privatization
Working paper
Gaps in Cognitive and Socio-Emotional Development between Public and Private School Children in Peru’s Urban Areas
Working paper
Does Medium of Instruction Affect Learning Outcomes?
Working paper
Impact of Different Types of Schooling on Achievement in the School System
Working paper
Private School Effects in Urban and Rural India
Journal Article
Low-fee Private Schooling in India. More Questions than Answers?
Journal Article
Changing Schools in Andhra Pradesh: Findings from the Young Lives School Survey

Research Countries