Are Small Schools the Answer?

Cost Effective Strategies for Rural School Provision

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Planners and policymakers often find it hard to decide whether to favour small school or large ones. On the one hand, financial constraints require them to seek systems with the lowest unit costs. But on the other hand, administrators are keenly aware of the role of the school in social development, and thus that under ideal circumstances every community should have a school of its own.

This book highlights the advantages and problems of school size, paying particular attention to social, economic and educational issues. It draws on a wide body of literature from both prosperous and less developed countries, and digests it into a readable and readily available form. As well as highlighting the overall issues, it makes practical suggestions on ways to improve costeffectiveness.

The book is mainly intended for national and regional educational administrators. However, much of the discussion (e.g. on strategies for multigrade teaching) will also prove useful at the school level.



Expanding Catchment Areas

After considering all the social, economic and educational factors, authorities may decide that they prefer medium-sized or even large schools to small ones. In areas of sparse population and/or low enrolment, expansion of catchment areas (i.e. the areas from which schools draw their pupils) is one way to do this. This chapter discusses two mechanisms for expansion of catchment areas: (a) boarding, and (b) bussing.


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