Education, Privatisation and Social Justice: case studies from Africa, South Asia and South East Asia

Symposium Books Ltd
Free sample

The involvement of private actors in education is not new yet in the last decade critical issues have arisen that demand close scrutiny. This volume explores emerging forms of the private through case studies from Africa, South Asia and South East Asia and makes three related observations.

First, what is new about these manifestations is their scale, scope and penetration into almost all aspects of the education endeavour – from the administrative apparatus to policymaking, and from formal provision in education settings to out-of-school activities, such as private tutoring. Second, what is particularly controversial about these developments is how education itself is being recast; as a sector it is increasingly being opened up to profit-making and trade, and to agenda-setting by private, commercial interests. Third, the learner is increasingly conceptualised as a consumer, and education a consumer good. The case studies therefore enable us to see more clearly how different forms of the private in education alter what is at stake, for whom, and with what outcomes, and the consequences for individuals and societies. In turn, these raise the very important question about what they mean for our conceptualisations of education, learning and teaching, on the one hand, and for education as a site and means for emancipation, on the other.

These are profound social justice concerns, and ones that make this volume distinctive. This book sets out to address these hard, but urgent, questions and will be of interest to academics and students of education, education researchers, government personnel and policymakers.   

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Publisher
Symposium Books Ltd
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Published on
May 12, 2014
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Pages
312
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ISBN
9781873927373
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / General
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This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Low-fee private schooling represents a point of heated debate in the international policy context of Education for All and the Millennium Development Goals. While on the one hand there is an increased push for free and universal access with assumed State responsibility, reports on the mushrooming of private schools targeting socially and economically disadvantaged groups in a range of developing countries, particularly across Africa and Asia, have emerged over the last decade. Low-fee private schooling has, thus, become a provocative and illuminating area of research and policy interest on the impacts of privatisation and its different forms in developing countries.

This edited volume aims to add to the growing literature on low-fee private schooling by presenting seven studies in five countries (Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan), and is bookended by chapters analysing some of the evidence and debates on the topic thus far.

The book presents research findings from studies across three levels of analysis that have proven relevant in the study of low-fee private schooling: the household, school and state. Chapters address household schooling choice behaviours regarding low-fee private and competing sectors; the management, operation and relative quality of low-fee private schools; and changes to the regulatory frameworks governing low-fee private schools, and the impact of low-fee private schools on those frameworks.

The book does not seek to provide definitive answers since, as an emerging and evolving area of study, this would be premature. Instead, it aims to call attention to the need for further systematic research on low-fee private schooling, and to open up the debate by presenting studies that use a range of methods and, owing to the context specificity of the issue, draw different conclusions. The hope is that these studies may serve as springboards to further research.

Finally, the book does not aim to snuff out the political and vociferous debate surrounding low-fee private schooling and private provision more broadly, or to erase the complications that abound in conducting research in this area, but to engage with them.

The hope is that as the 2015 target date for Education for All and Millennium Development Goals approaches, this book may help us get closer to answering the question: do low-fee private schools aggravate equity or mitigate disadvantage? 

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