Our recent findings show that
- The share of private schooling has grown rapidly in some of our study countries. Between 2002 and 2009, the uptake of private schooling for 8-year-olds increased from 24 per cent to 44 percent in Andhra Pradesh.
- Students in private schools in Andhra Pradesh do not learn more mathematics or the local language at the primary level than students in government schools but do have substantial gains in English skills. At the secondary level, there seem to be modest additional gains for private school students. Most differences in the test scores of private and government school students reflect pre-existing gaps from socio-economic and other background factors.
- Teachers in private schools are less well-paid and younger but perform as well at much lower salaries – this enables private schools to be considerably more cost-effective.
- Parents choose private schools frequently because of the emphasis on English skills and because of general perceptions of private schools providing better education.
- Access to private schools still remains inequitable with a lower proportion of girls and children from poorer families and children in rural areas accessing private schools – this calls for a careful assessment of the role of private schools in an Education for All framework.