India has seen an explosion in low-fee private (LFP) schooling aimed at the poorer strata of society, and this once-urban phenomenon has spread in the last decade to rural areas, with implications for equity due to the level of direct costs involved. This study explores whether or not LFP schooling in rural India is pro-poor and equitable, and finds that these schools are unaffordable to the bottom two wealth quintiles of families. This conclusion has implications for policy formation and shows that increased reliance on a market in education will not help to achieve equitable access to primary schooling for all.
International Journal of Educational Development (2011) 31 (4) 350-356 [doi:10.1016/j.ijedudev.2011.01.003]
Low cost private schooling in India: Is it pro poor and equitable?