Low-fee Private Schooling in India: More questions than answers?


This paper seeks to draw attention to two important, but less researched, areas regarding low fee private school provision in India. Firstly, the paper evaluates the impact of fees on household debt burden and decision-making, and secondly highlights the dynamic interplay between the private and government sub-sectors and the potential consequences this may have for educational delivery. The paper attempts to provide an overview of the historic growth, extent and performance of low fee private schools and private tutoring. Consistent with others, the paper finds that private provision is not currently accessible to the poorest and thus potentially deleterious to equity both within schools and within families. While drawing on existing research and particularly the longitudinal Young Lives data sets in Andhra Pradesh – findings are largely exploratory. The paper concludes that there is a need for further research on both household and school effects related to increasing privatisation in education. In particular there is a focus on how emerging inequalities emanating from school choice and private tuitions can be addressed. This is urgently needed to inform policy and investment decisions that maximise the contribution of both sectors and mitigate against inequality.


Singh, R.; Bangay, C. Low fee private schooling in India – More questions than answers? Observations from the Young Lives longitudinal research in Andhra Pradesh. International Journal of Educational Development (2014) : [DOI: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2014.08.004]

Low-fee Private Schooling in India: More questions than answers?

Published 1 January 2014