Black-Market Education

Newsweek notes the rise of private universities in the developing world, and makes an interesting observation:

Public schools teach "students to think about joining the commanding heights, not to become a junior partner in a firm," says University of Illinois economist Salim Rashid. "They [are] misfits when they get out into the real world." Many new private schools, on the other hand, offer practical courses, top teachers and accountability. "If you pay for education, you keep a much closer eye on it," says Rashid.

As longtime Hit & Run readers know, the rise of independent schools in the Third World isn't limited to universities. Newsweek has noticed this as well:

The story was perhaps most dramatic in China. [James] Tooley and his chief researcher, Qiang Liu, traveled to the poorest, most remote villages of Gansu province. Officials there insisted there were no private schools. And so it seemed, until Qiang woke up one morning at dawn and canvassed the vegetable market. Sure enough, women who'd traveled there from the neighboring countryside told him about private schools farther up in the mountains. "In the end, our survey found 586 of them in these remote villages, where the government and [aid workers] said there were none."

Elsewhere the private schools were easier to spot and even more numerous. In Delhi, hand-painted signs advertise low-cost private schools at every twist of the narrow lanes. In Hyderabad, 60 percent of the schools serving poor neighborhoods are private. None of them get state aid, and two thirds are not recognized by the government at all--meaning they are essentially black market....

The numbers suggest that despite the low prices (as little as $1.50 a month), parents believe such schools do a better job than the government. And they're generally right.

[Via Tim Swanson.]

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  • Bill Pope||

    One should bear in mind that the best universities include public and private institutions. All of the worst (i.e. degree mills) are private.

  • ||

    Many public high schools, however, are clearly degree mills.

  • VM||

    The Cincinnati Bear-somethings come to mind there, Bill P.

  • Brian||

    Everything I know I learned on Google.

  • x,y||

    One should bear in mind that the best universities include public and private institutions. All of the worst (i.e. degree mills) are private.

    Ahem, "The" Ohio State University.

  • ||

    Education for people, not for profit!!!

  • RVP||

    Hey, VM. What's wrong with the Bearcats? I'd say your comment holds true for the players on the basketball team, but not so for the general student population.

  • VM||

    hoops, of course.
    (and the whole bloody big east, but that's a different story)

  • Russ 2000||

    and the whole bloody big east

    I duuno, DePaul seems to lead the lead in academic ineligibility every season.

  • ||

    Can't have those third-worlders taught to aim high, now. They need to know their place.

  • Francois Tremblay||

    "One should bear in mind that the best universities include public and private institutions. All of the worst (i.e. degree mills) are private."

    Oh yea, because using stolen money to indoctrinate people is a hell of a lot better than giving an (illegal) service people actually want, right statist?

    Self-righteous prick...

  • ||

    Can't have those third-worlders taught to aim high, now. They need to know their place.

    You know, joe, that's precisely the attitude that progressives promoting compulsory public schooling were promoting around the turn of the century - although they put it far more eloquently:

    In our dreams...people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present educational conventions [intellectual and character education] fade from our minds, and unhampered by tradition we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have ample supply. The task we set before ourselves is very simple...we will organize children...and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way.

  • ||

    pssst
    Hey mister...wanna piece of education?
    Pure grade mathematics from MIT, uncut history, sweet sweet Grammar, you ask for it, I got it...
    You're not a cop...are you?

  • ||

    tarran,

    Good thing modern liberalism dragged the country out of that way of thinking.

  • ||

    The numbers suggest that despite the low prices (as little as $1.50 a month), parents believe such schools do a better job than the government.

    In parts of rural China at least, there is no alternative to paying for private schools, because the government neglects education in those areas. And $1.50 a month is a lot of money for a poor Chinese farmer.

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