Private schooling in India – Size, nature, and equity-effects

Kingdon, GG;


Private schooling in India – Size, nature, and equity-effects.

Economic and Political Weekly
, 31

pp. 3306-3314.


private schooling in india.pdf
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Published educational statistics in India ignore ëunrecognisedí private schools and include
only the ërecognisedí private schools, though all government-funded schools are included.
Moreover, enrolments in government-funded schools are greatly over-reported in
education data. The paper argues that, as a result, official education statistics are seriously
skewed: they exaggerate the size of the free, government-funded elementary school sector
and greatly understate the size of the private fee-charging elementary school sector. While
it may be expedient for the state to under-enumerate fee-charging schools and exaggerate
its own contribution to school education, the fast-growing role of unrecognised private
elementary schools should not be ignored because of important equity-related reasons: a
system where fee-levying institutions have a significant role in elementary education while
secondary education is largely state-supported has perverse equity-effects. The paper also
presents evidence to show that official enrolment statistics – on which analysts, policymakers, and international studies rely, and which are used in parliamentary debates – are
gravely inaccurate.

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