Private education in the third world

One of the many reservations I have about the Richard Curtis/Bob Geldof/Gordon Brown bandwagon to ‘make poverty history’ and have a million people pressurising the G8 is that they all, effectively, wish to bolster the state apparatus in African countries.
One of the areas where this could be counter-productive is education.
Professor James Tooley has been to third world private schools and reported on how the private schools often do more good for the poor than than the state schools.

He has written an article in the latest edition of Economic Affairs which is introduced thus:

In many developing countries, private unaided schools are serving the poor in large numbers. Some commentators view their presence as undesirable in particular assuming that there is a conflict between ‘commercial gain’ and ‘concern for the poor’. We show one way in which there is no conflict the private unaided schools offer free or concessionary places to the poorest of the poor. Using data from a random sample of schools in Hyderabad, India, and a smaller sample in Makoko, Nigeria, we show that such places range from 1020% of all places offered

The full text is here.

  1. The attack on private education through charity law is not over
  2. More people saving to pay for private education
  3. Getting around the failures of state education
  4. Attacking private schools is like banning fox-hunting
  5. The less well publicised education news
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One Response to Private education in the third world

  1. Ricky says:

    Here’s an idea for Mr. Geldof.
    How about putting the money into shares in African companies, and companies who employ Africans. That way, you encourage private enterprise by Africans, you avoid the dictators and you even make a profit to reinvest in Africa.
    If there is any money left, he could buy a fleet of refrigerated trucks to start importing African food, and sell at local markets.
    As a start, he could paint the names of African companies right across the stage on Saturday, with phoone numbers to call to buy shares.
    Methinks he won’t go for it – too much like capitalism, that great evil force that condems little black babies to die !

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