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Private schools for the poor in India: Choice, networks, and policy

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Abstract:

In this paper I focus on -low cost' private schools that are being advocated for the poor in India. Informed by the ideology of markets in education and notions of parental aspirations and freedom of choice, such advocacy integrates contemporary concerns of equity in education and contends that the private sector is best equipped to respond to the growing demand for -good quality' education from the poor. I show that advocacy networks (international and national) for -private schools for the poor' are backed by powerful financial and political interests that are seeking to bring about policy changes in favour of vouchers and school choice. A variety of methods including research are being used to project low-cost private schooling as a good educational and business proposition and to decry public schooling. It is nobody's argument that all is well with publicly provided education in India. However I argue that advocacy for private schools has far reaching implications for the education of children, especially from economically and socially vulnerable groups, as well as for the broader vision of the role of education in society. The paper is based on recent research on -low fee' private schools in India and data from relevant web sites. Preliminary findings from an exploratory study of families in a poor settlement in the city of Delhi highlight the complex processes that underlie choices and strategies of parents in relation to private schooling. The experiences of their children in these schools raise larger concerns of equitable access to education of quality.

Author's Keywords:

Advocacy, Choice, Vouchers,
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
URL:
http://www.cies.us


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492528_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Nambissan, Geetha. "Private schools for the poor in India: Choice, networks, and policy" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Apr 30, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492528_index.html>

APA Citation:

Nambissan, G. B. , 2011-04-30 "Private schools for the poor in India: Choice, networks, and policy" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492528_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In this paper I focus on -low cost' private schools that are being advocated for the poor in India. Informed by the ideology of markets in education and notions of parental aspirations and freedom of choice, such advocacy integrates contemporary concerns of equity in education and contends that the private sector is best equipped to respond to the growing demand for -good quality' education from the poor. I show that advocacy networks (international and national) for -private schools for the poor' are backed by powerful financial and political interests that are seeking to bring about policy changes in favour of vouchers and school choice. A variety of methods including research are being used to project low-cost private schooling as a good educational and business proposition and to decry public schooling. It is nobody's argument that all is well with publicly provided education in India. However I argue that advocacy for private schools has far reaching implications for the education of children, especially from economically and socially vulnerable groups, as well as for the broader vision of the role of education in society. The paper is based on recent research on -low fee' private schools in India and data from relevant web sites. Preliminary findings from an exploratory study of families in a poor settlement in the city of Delhi highlight the complex processes that underlie choices and strategies of parents in relation to private schooling. The experiences of their children in these schools raise larger concerns of equitable access to education of quality.


Similar Titles:
Do private schools benefit the poor? The case study of unrecognized schools in India

Anti-poor or empowering? The case of low fee private schools in India

Student Composition in Charter Schools: The Intersection of State Policy, School Practice, and Parental Choice


 
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