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Educating Amaretch: Private school for the poor and the new frontier for investors

Lookup NU author(s): Professor James Tooley


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The accepted wisdom says that the poor need billions of dollars more in donor aid for state education. But this ignores the reality that poor parents are abandoning government schools to send their children to 'budget' private schools that charge very low fees, affordable to parents on minimum wages. Recent research shows that private schools for the poor are superior to government schools - teachers are more committed, the provision of inputs better and educational outcomes better - even after controlling for background variables. All this is accomplished for a fraction of the per-pupil teacher cost of government schools. The development community could therefore assist the poor by extending access to private schools through targeted vouchers. There are also opportunities for investors to contribute through microfinance-type loans, dedicated education investment funds and joint ventures with educational entrepreneurs, including the development of brands of budget private schools to help solve the information problem facing poor parents. © 2007 The Author. Journal compilation © Institute of Economic Affairs 2007.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tooley J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Economic Affairs

Year: 2007

Volume: 27

Issue: 2

Pages: 37-43

ISSN (print): 0265-0665

ISSN (electronic): 1468-0270

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0270.2007.00728.x


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