India's public school students on par with private students

Oct 11, 2012
A study by Michigan State University scholar Amita Chudgar suggests India's private schools are not superior to public schools when it comes to student performance. Credit: Michigan State University

Contrary to past research, private school students in India do not outperform their counterparts in public schools, finds a new study by a Michigan State University education researcher.

The study challenges the claim that private schools are superior – a hot issue in India and other developing countries that are expanding K-12 educational offerings. During the past decade, some 40 million children have entered India's , giving rise to a growth in privately run schools.

"Our study finds no consistent benefit of attending a private school," said Amita Chudgar, assistant professor of educational administration. "The main implication is to recognize that the debate is not settled regarding public and private schools."

Chudgar analyzed the reading, writing and of 10,000 Indian students aged 8 to 11. Because private-school students generally come from families with higher income and education levels, she narrowed the research sample to private and public school students with similar backgrounds.

The study, which appears in Economics of Education Review, found that private is not associated with any systematic and specific benefit in terms of increased student achievement. Chudgar said the results hold for rural and urban areas of India, and for both expensive private schools and low-fee private schools.

Unlike in the United States – where a raft of research has produced mixed results in the public vs. private school debate – only a handful of studies have been conducted on the burgeoning Indian , and those studies have favored private schools.

But it's important to keep researching and discussing the issue, Chudgar said, as the public and attempt to deal with the massive influx of new students.

"There's a perception among some that a child will enjoy better simply because she or he attends a private school, even a low-fee private school," Chudgar said. "But we hope for a more robust conversation on the benefits and limitations of privatization in the developing world."

Explore further: 3 Qs: Economist makes the case for new quasi-experiments as a way of studying environmental issues

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study: Privatized Philly schools did not keep pace

Apr 09, 2009

Public middle-grades schools placed under private management in 2002 as part of a state-run overhaul of the Philadelphia School District did not keep pace with the rest of the city's public schools, according to a study published ...

Recommended for you

Which foods may cost you more due to Calif. drought

Apr 17, 2014

With California experiencing one of its worst droughts on record, grocery shoppers across the country can expect to see a short supply of certain fruits and vegetables in stores, and to pay higher prices ...

Performance measures for CEOs vary greatly, study finds

Apr 16, 2014

As companies file their annual proxy statements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this spring, a new study by Rice University and Cornell University shows just how S&P 500 companies have ...

Investment helps keep transport up to speed

Apr 16, 2014

Greater investment in education and training for employees will be required to meet the future needs of the transport and logistics industry, according to recent reports by Monash University researchers.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.