In this paper, we focus on the various impacts that the entry of private schools can have in areas/communities that until recently relied exclusively on public schools. Our aim is not to assess why or how private schools are more effective than their public counterparts in terms of the quality of teaching and learning but to understand why they have become the universally preferred choice of schooling. We argue that this preference largely stems from the impression created by private schools that they are inherently superior to their public counterparts and can expand the life chances and opportunities of those who attend them. This, in turn, is based on the increased formalization of the curricula and co-curricula in private schools that further underpins their claim of all-round development of the child.
This supposed superiority of private schools also stems from the fact that public schools are responding by becoming like “boarding schools”. However, these public school responses to private school expansion should be seen more as individual than systemic due to a lack of systematic engagement of national policy-makers with private schooling. This points towards a need to deconstruct the state discourse, or lack thereof, around private schooling. Finally, this research challenges the notion that parents or communities participate less in public schooling because of their ignorance or lack of awareness, and points towards the possibility of formalizing parent—teacher interactions around the educational progress of the child in the public school, rather than merely in the management of the school.Low-Cost Private SchoolsCurriculum reform/designNepalOriginal research