Document: Investigating Dimensions of Privatisation of Public Education in South Asia

Baela Raza Jamil, Kiran Javaid & Baladevan Rangaraju
Publication Date:
Fri, 28/09/2012 - 00:00
File Size:
1.87 MB


This two-country study investigates the role, nature and spread of non-state actors in the education sector of Pakistan and the impact on social justice in terms of exclusion/inclusion, choice and equity along various dimensions. Data collected from households, students, private schools and tuition centers (in Rawalpindi and Peshawar in Pakistan; Delhi, Patna and Sonipat in India), specifically for the purposes of this study, shows that the private sector is widespread and catering to all sections of the society. However, the burden of education on the households is high, not just for private but also government schools, forcing households to choose at various levels: schooling vs. no schooling; public vs. private; sons vs. daughters. For research areas in Pakistan, gender discrimination at the level of making the decision of first, sending girls to school and second, enrolling them in a private school exists, though once the decision to send a girl to a private school has been made, the funding is roughly similar to boys. However, the funding differential still remains in the research areas in India. From the supply side we find that in both countries private school teachers are paid minimal salaries. However, low salaries make low fee per student possible – inequitable stasis. In terms of learning levels in Pakistan, we find that private school students do better than government school students in Peshawar but no private school advantage exists in Rawalpindi, further complicating the debate of private versus public. The study also has critical implications within the context of right to education (RTE) activism across both countries. Whilst India is two years into implementation of the constitutional right with laws and rules in place in 22 states, Pakistan is still struggling with making of a model law and rules amidst shrinking allocations to education.