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Private Schooling in Less Economically Developed Countries
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Oxford Studies in Comparative Education

Private Schooling in Less Economically Developed Countries

Asian and African perspectives


2007 paperback 214 pages, £30.00, ISBN 978-1-873927-85-4

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About the book

The increased marketisation and privatisation of schooling in economically developing countries struggling to achieve Education for All and Millennium Development Goals warrants a focused examination of the phenomenon. However, there is little work on the nature and extent of private provision in countries that, on the one hand, are striving to meet international commitments of universal schooling provision and, on the other, face such challenges as constrained public budgets, low levels of quality, and persistent schooling gaps. This volume brings together new research evidence from academics and policy makers on the nature and extent of private provision in a range of countries across Asia and Africa. As South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa account for the majority of the world’s population of children out of school, this book sheds new light on the changing context of schooling provision in some of the most vulnerable regions. Of particular interest is the nature and potential impact of private provision on the educational opportunities of economically and socially disadvantaged children.


Geoffrey Walford & Prachi Srivastava. Examining Private Schooling in Less Economically Developed Countries: key issues and new evidence

James Tooley & Pauline Dixon. Private Education for Low-income Families: results from a global research project

Keith M. Lewin. The Limits to Growth of Non-government Private Schooling in Sub-Saharan Africa

Pauline Rose & Modupe Adelabu. Private Sector Contributions to Education for All in Nigeria

Igor Kitaev. Education for All and Private Education in the Developing and Transitional Countries

Colin Bangay. Cinderella or Ugly Sister? What Role for Non-state Education Provision in Developing Countries?

Santosh Mehrotra & P.R. Panchamukhi. Universalizing Elementary Education in India: is the private sector the answer?

Prachi Srivastava. For Philanthropy or Profit? The Management and Operation of Low-fee Private Schools in India

Martha Caddell. Private Schools and Political Conflict in Nepal


Modupe Adelabu is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Educational Administration and Planning, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Her major research area is on policy issues related to education, including the state's role in education, teacher education, and poverty and gender related issues in education particularly in rural areas. She has published 27 articles in both national and international journals. Dr Adelabu has been involved in consultancy work for the World Bank, Universal Basic Education Commission in Nigeria, United Kingdom Department for International Development and other international agencies.

Colin Bangay is a senior education specialist with the British Council. He is currently on a two-year secondment to the World Bank Institute where he is working on issues of governance, decentralisation and non-state provision. Mr Bangay has worked extensively throughout Africa and Asia as teacher, researcher, consultant and resident project manager. His interest in non-state provision stems from experiences in Indonesia (where he was team leader on the Asian Development Bank-funded Private Junior Secondary Education Project) and project work in Bangladesh.

Martha Caddell is Lecturer in Development Studies at The Open University. Her research has focused on international education policy, donor coordination and frameworks for aid delivery, and citizenship and schooling. Recent work has focused on the impact of the de facto civil war in Nepal and the impact this has had on the education sector and on development efforts more broadly. She is also involved in the EU-funded Nepali Language Resources and Localisation for Education and Communication (NELRALEC) project, which aims to enhance Nepali-medium access to information technology through support for software localisation and language engineering. Dr Caddell teaches on The Open University's Global Development Management programme.

Pauline Dixon is International Research Coordinator at the E.G. West Centre in the School of Education at the University of Newcastle. She has worked and studied with Professor James Tooley for the past five years. She is the author and co-author of numerous studies and journal articles on private education in the developing world. Dr Dixon's interests range from the regulatory environment in which private schools catering for low-income families function, to researching alternative and innovative methods of pedagogy and e-learning for the poor.

Igor Kitaev was born in Moscow in 1960. He graduated as economist from the Moscow State University of Foreign Relations in 1982 (MA, BA) where he continued his Ph.D. research on the economics of developing countries. As a government expert he took part in many international events, including the 1990 Jomtien Conference on Education for All. As a staff member of the International Institute for Educational Planning of UNESCO in Paris, he has written many studies on educational finance, in particular on private education in developing and transitional countries.

Keith M. Lewin is Professor of International Education at the University of Sussex and Director of the Centre for International Education. He has worked widely in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia on education and development projects over the last 30 years for development agencies and national governments. Recently he has been working on plans to finance expanded secondary schooling in Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda, and has completed regional studies for the World Bank Secondary Education in Africa programme. His books include Financing Secondary Education in Developing Countries (International Institute of Educational Planning, with F. Callods, 2001); Researching Teacher Education: new perspectives on practice performance and policy (UNESCO, 1997); and Educational Innovation in Developing Countries (Macmillan, 1991). He currently directs the Department for International Development Research Consortium for Educational Access, and is President of the British Association of International and Comparative Education.

Santosh Mehrotra was Regional Adviser, Regional Centre for Asia, United Nations Development Programme, Bangkok, and is now with the Planning Commission of the Government of India in New Delhi. Earlier, he was Senior Policy Adviser to the Human Development Report. He also led UNICEF's research programme on developing countries at Innocenti Research Centre, Florence. After gaining his Ph.D. at Cambridge (1985), he was Associate Professor of Economics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (1988–91). Since then he has been 14 years with the UN, as a human development economist. His research interests have spanned industry and trade issues, the impact of macro-economic policy on health and education, the informal sector, and the economics of health and education. His books include: India and the Soviet Union: trade and technology transfer (Cambridge University Press, 1990); Development with a Human Face. Experiences in Social Achievement and Economic Growth (Oxford University Press, 1997, with Richard Jolly); Universalizing Elementary Education in India: uncaging the 'tiger' economy (Oxford University Press, 2005, with P.R. Panchamukhi, R. Srivastava & R. Srivastava); The Economics of Elementary Education in India (Sage, 2006). Two co-authored books are to be published in 2006: Asian Informal Workers. Global Risks, Local Protection (Routledge, with Mario Biggeri), and Eliminating Human Poverty: macro-economic policies for equitable growth (Zed Press, with Enrique Delamonica).

P.R. Panchamukhi is one of India's earliest and best known education economists. He is a former Adviser, Planning Commission and Director, Indian Institute of Education, Pune. His major works are on economic reforms in the social sector among India's less developed regions. Dr Panchamukhi recently retired as Director, Centre for Multi-disciplinary Research, Karnataka.

Pauline Rose is Senior Lecturer in International Education at the University of Sussex. Her research from a political economy perspective relates to international and national educational policy and practice including in areas of non-state provision, decentralisation, and community participation. This work focuses on concerns for out of school children with respect to poverty and gender in particular. Dr Rose has led large multi-site collaborative research projects in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, funded by the Department for International Development, Rockefeller Foundation and others. Part of this work has been published in a co-authored book on Schooling for All in Africa: costs, commitment and gender (with C. Colclough, S. Al-Samarrai & M. Tembon, Ashgate, 2003), as well as in a number of journal articles. She is currently leading the education sector component of a research project analysing inter-sectoral collaboration for service delivery, as part of the Economic and Social Research Council's Non-Government Public Action Programme.

Prachi Srivastava is Lecturer in Education at the University of Sussex with the Centre for International Education and the Sussex School of Education. After obtaining her doctorate from the University of Oxford, she was awarded the Economic and Social Research Council Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, which she undertook at the Department of Educational Studies, University of Oxford (2005–06). There, she co-organised the seminar series, 'Private Schooling in Developing Countries' with Professor Walford, from which most chapters in this volume are drawn. Her work on 'low-fee private' schooling in India led to an invited report by the Government of India, and to a number of book chapters and articles in press and under review. She is currently involved with the Consortium for Educational Access at Sussex, and is also working on a small study funded by the European Science Foundation on social capital and attitudes towards immigrants in Europe. Dr Srivastava has worked for NGOs in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kosovo where she also served for the United Nations Administration Mission in Kosovo. Her main research interests are: privatisation of education in economically developing countries; marketisation of educational reform; school choice and social disadvantage; and applications of new institutional theory to educational governance.

James Tooley is Professor of Education Policy at the University of Newcastle and Director of the E.G. West Centre. He has just completed directing a two-year study of private schools catering for low-income families in Asia and Africa funded by the Templeton Foundation. James Tooley has also directed studies for the International Finance Corporation – the private finance arm of the World Bank – which included a global study of investment opportunities for private education in developing countries, which led to his book The Global Education Industry, now in its second edition (Institute for Economic Affairs, 1999). Professor Tooley has undertaken considerable consultancy work for the IFC, World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development), UN, UNESCO, and Asian Development Bank Institute on private education in developing countries. He is author of Reclaiming Education (Continuum, 2005) and co-editor of What America Can Learn from School Choice in Other Countries (Cato Institute, 2005).

Geoffrey Walford is Professor of Education Policy and a Fellow of Green College at the University of Oxford. His research foci are the relationships between central government policy and local processes of implementation, private schools, choice of schools, religious-based schools and qualitative research methodology. His books include: Life in Public Schools (Methuen, 1986), Restructuring Universities: politics and power in the management of change (Croom Helm, 1987), Private Schools in Ten Countries: policy and practice (Routledge, Ed., 1989), Privatization and Privilege in Education (Routledge, 1990), City Technology College (Open University Press, 1991, with Henry Miller), Doing Educational Research (Routledge, Ed., 1991), Choice and Equity in Education (Cassell, 1994), Researching the Powerful in Education (UCL Press, Ed., 1994), Educational Politics: pressure groups and faith-based schools (Avebury, 1995), Affirming the Comprehensive Ideal (Falmer, Ed., 1997, with Richard Pring), Policy, Politics and Education – sponsored grant-maintained schools and religious diversity (Ashgate, 2000), Doing Qualitative Educational Research (Continuum, 2001), Private Schooling: tradition and diversity (Continuum, 2005) and Markets and Equity in Education (Continuum, 2006). He was Joint Editor of the British Journal of Educational Studies from 1999 to 2002, is Editor of the annual volume Studies in Educational Ethnography, and has been Editor of the Oxford Review of Education since January 2004.

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