Low-cost Private Education

Impacts on Achieving Universal Primary Education

image of Low-cost Private Education
In recent years developing countries have expanded their government education systems in an attempt to meet the Millennium Development Goals on education by 2015. One consequence has been a dramatic growth in low-cost private education institutions, which are increasingly being seen as a popular alternative to the public education system.

Using independent first-hand research, this study investigates the low-cost private education sector in India, Nigeria and Uganda. The contributors explain the mushrooming of these schools and consider the impact they have on access to education for the poor. They argue that with proper regulation, supervision and government support, private schools can help to achieve education for all by filling gaps in public education.

This study will serve as an invaluable resource to anyone interested in educational planning and policy-making in developing countries.




As commercial institutions that derive profit from providing education to a non-elite clientele, private schools have a history of more than two decades in India. In the 1970s, fees were abolished in government schools and public funding extended to a section of private schools, which came to be known as ‘aided’ schools. ‘Unaided’ private schools raise their own revenues through fees and fall in two categories – recognised (or complying with a number of conditions) and unrecognised. Recognition entitles schools to issue terminal grade completion certificates and certain government provisions, including scholarships.


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