Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Indian private schooling

The FT has a brief article on the success of private schools in India:

But in their rapidly proliferating numbers, India's slum private schools are ushering in a social revolution that is largely beneath the radar of the country's policymaking elites. It is a silent revolution that conveys two important messages. First, India's poorest classes want their children to be educated - and they are setting aside money to pay for it; and second, they want their children to be educated in English.

The article then says: Few studies exist on the growth of private slum or village schools elsewhere in India. But anecdotal evidence suggests that Hyderabad is not untypical.

This is a bit surprising considering all the work James Tooley (and EG West) have done on precisely this issue. In fact, the FT article discusses the same issues as Tooley has documented extensively, such as pervasive state school teacher absenteeism and the bribes paid by private schools to get round heavy handed regulation. Tooley's research has clear laissez-faire implications, and has been published mainly by free-market institutions, so perhaps this is why the FT has "missed" it.

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