"A Free Education Is Something That Many Parents Will Pay to Avoid"



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.

Read more on how the world's poorest people can't afford not to go private.