From The Economist, more about how parents in the poorest countries in the world would still rather pay for private school than send their kids to free (terrible) public school.
A government decision in 2007 [in India] to make primary schooling compulsory and free boosted private-school numbers. Many parents became disenchanted with state-school teachers who failed to show up or taught badly—by, for example, failing to correct errors. Surveys by Pratham, a Mumbai-based charity, suggest that standards in state schools slipped as the system expanded, whereas in the private sector they have held up.
Between a quarter and a third of India students attend public schools, and in the cities that figure rises to 85 percent. As usual, those sassy Brits sum it up nicely:
Despite a rapid rise in attendance since 2000, 72m school-age children across the world are still not in school, half of them in sub-Saharan Africa and a quarter in South and West Asia. The United Nations reckons it would cost $16 billion a year to get the remaining stragglers into class by 2015—one of its big development goals. Yet a free education is something that many parents will pay to avoid.