De Facto Privatisation of Basic Education in Africa: A Market Response to Government Failure? A Comparative Study of the Cases of Ghana and Nigeria

Rolleston, Caine; Adefeso-Olateju, ModupeOpen Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) 2012

Low-fee private schools (LFPSs) enroll a growing proportion of children in Ghana and Nigeria, including the poor. This trend raises questions about the quality of provision in the public sector as well as in relation to equity and social justice in the distribution of educational opportunity. This paper examines the phenomenon of de facto privatisation in comparative perspective, drawing on secondary data and on purposively conducted interviews among parents and teachers in two peri-urban communities where both private and public schools are situated. Parents’ explanations of their choice of LFPS include better examination performance, access to higher levels of education, greater attention to pupils’ welfare and progress, and the learning of English. In contrast, many are critical of public school alternatives, despite their sometimes better resources and better-trained teachers.

Low-Cost Private SchoolsEducation FinancingSub-Saharan AfricaGhanaNigeriaOriginal researchDelivery

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