The Hindu, October 08, 2015
For the last two years, Buniyaad, an NGO, has been evaluating the performance of schools based on a test in the rural areas of Sant Kabir Nagar (UP). Around 40 schools, both private and government, have participated in the test. The tests have revealed the following four important points: While the performance of private schools was relatively better than that of government schools, in absolute terms, the performance of a majority of private schools was poor; parents’ willingness to pay for better performing schools increased significantly depending on performance; with increased resources, schools were able to hire/retain better quality teachers; the incentive for performing well has created competition among schools resulting in significant improvement in the quality of education.
July 7, 2017
Parents, even in rural areas, know about the huge importance of English in the present day globalised world. The failure of government schools to respond effectively to the aspirations of parents and students has given opportunities to private schools to thrive. For example, in Uttar Pradesh, the enrolment in rural government schools at elementary level has declined from 17.2 million in 2002-03 to 15.9 million in 2015-16. The enrolment in rural private schools has increased from 2.7 million to 13.8 million in the same time period. Both vernacular and English medium private schools have been able to convince parents that they are giving importance to learning in and of the English language. However, finding quality teachers who can effectively teach subjects in English, at salaries near minimum wages is an uphill struggle for schools in low-income areas.