While previous studies have suggested that private schools with little competition in developing countries are low-quality alternatives to public schools, the relationship between public and private schools in those countries is actually much more complex, says a report.
The study—by the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University—examines private school markets in Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, and Zambia. Each country had different situations. For example, Malawi’s private schools were equivalent in quality to its public schools, but Zambia’s private schools were consistently inferior to its public schools.
“Do Private Markets Improve the Quality or Quantity of Primary Schooling in Sub-Saharan Africa?” is available from the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.
A version of this article appeared in the March 28, 2007 edition of Education Week