16 May 2013

Are private school fees in India "inflated"?

Adventures in fact-checking exfam lefties

Swati Narayan on Duncan Green’s blog celebrates a new law passed in India reserving 25% of private school places for underprivileged kids. As part of the deal, the government reimburses private schools, but only at the level of government per pupil funding rather than necessarily the fees charged by private schools. Swati writes:
The Act is categorical that the state will reimburse private schools only based on what it spends per pupil in government schools, which is typically much less. For-profit private schools are therefore keen to pass on the burden and increase their already inflated fees for the remainder of the class.
Are those fees really inflated? It is possible that high-end elite schools are getting a raw deal here, but most private schools are not high-end elite schools. Here are some numbers from Karthik Muralidharan, who is possibly the global expert on the economics of education in India. In his survey of rural primary schools in Andra Pradesh, spending per pupil at government schools is typically five times more than at private schools.

Average spending per pupil at government schools: 7680 rupees ($140) per year

Average fees at private schools: 1330 rupees ($24) per year

Right then. I don't have a strong opinion about this new law, but let's maybe have less demonisation of private schools in poor countries where the public education system is pretty dysfunctional yeah?

No comments:

Post a Comment