PRIVATE schools are better than public schools. This is an established fact in the urban areas of Pakistan. Now this trend is also seen taking place among the rural population, as the demand for private schools is increasing. The main reason is the belief that the quality of education and facilities in these schools is better than that of their public-sector counterparts.

But is that really the case? Recent studies show that there definitely is a difference in the quality of education between the two sectors, measured by the difference in the learning-level outcomes of the students.

Students studying in privately-owned schools in the rural areas perform better at every level of schooling as compared to the students from the same grade levels in government schools.

However, the alarming feature that needs to be noted is that the difference between the two education providers is negligible at best.

Using the information from a survey of 32 districts across the country by ASER 2010, it was seen that any child going to a private school has less than four per cent probability of having better learning levels as compared to a child going to a government school. The difference is minute.

This is the case because private schools have no incentive to improve any further than the bare minimum that is required for them to attract demand.

The quality of government schools is the benchmark for the private sector education providers, above which they have no incentive to further improve their facilities or other quality indicators.

The pre-conceived notion of private schools being always better than government schools is contradicted by the evidence from ASER 2010 facilities’ statistics where other than the availability of water and toilet facilities, private schools have no edge over government schools.

In case of the number of classrooms, availability of playgrounds, boundary wall and the attendance of teachers, private schools are not only at similar levels but are even worse off than government schools in some provinces.

The poor quality of education and facilities is not just an issue in government schools but for the whole educational system. There is not only a need to alter the popular notion that private schools are always better than government schools but also to work on improving the quality of learning in both types of school.

Improving quality in government schools, and regulating and setting standards for the private sector is the need of the hour.


Updated Nov 14, 2012 12:10am

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Comments (10) (Closed)

Nov 15, 2012 10:50am
I like to share my views about the syllabus and subjects my daughter is reading in Class 1 in a private school (this school does not have a big name by the way) in Karachi. I am amazed to see the subjects and course contents. I was wondering that if she will learn all this in Class 1 what she is going to read in class 10?
Nov 14, 2012 02:46pm
Well Well , I do not know what is the status of so called Education (not information) and Knowledge (not hype) between the two BUT I can safely state during my time in scooll ( 1953 to 1966) , my matriculation class had at least 4 Students who had been to the Elite school from the Nursary till Middle school ( 8th grade ) and God knows what were the reasons/compulsions , they had to join my group in Class 9 & 10 . One would imagine by the yardstick of Private & English medium of their built up years , they would have been equipped to pipe us all down to irrelevance for the studies as such . It was a surprise that they opted to go into art group than confronting us The Science group . this was the 1st setback , then came the overwhelming failures even in the art group . They failed in the language ( urdu ) , in the Islamiyat and worse scenario was they hardly passed in English language (they had 8 years of so called intense teaching in this very subject!) , in History , in match (general math ) . One of them was very aloud about himself ," I am ex-Cadet college student" . Come the Final board exams of Matriculations in 1966 , all 4 were in lower 2nd division pass marks while all top 10 places were taken up by the student who started in the Govt Urdu medium all along With the TOP Spot , was secured by your very sincerely . I am for sure confident enough that Govt Schools were better educating institutions then their counterparts at least for my generation . At least compared those private school brought ups , my education in a Govt urdu medium school , prepared me in a much consolidated ways ,for my future life ......
ali khaskhali
Nov 14, 2012 03:15pm
wow its.. really an athentic report
Mahmood Minhas
Nov 14, 2012 03:28pm
The moto of eduation in our country has completly been changed. The teachers in govt school are in the struggle to get more and more pay and firng benefits rather to perform their duty honestly. The owners of private schools are looking higher and higher fees from the parents and thus have made their institutions commercialized. The true aim the mind of a teacher has ben finished as compared to the last two decades. At that time the teachers watch their students and their ablity and look after them free of time and money to achieve better result of the class. That is why all the well dignified personalities at this time are educated in govt schools and not in a private school.It is the duty of the government to promote eduation honestly through out the country.
Nov 14, 2012 09:44am
One of my colleague earned 4 best accounting qualifications of the world. He was from a remote rural area of Sind and studied in Govt school formed under the tree.
Nov 14, 2012 07:35am
yes private schools are better than govt schools, there are more facilities and teachers /staff for students' needs anytime.
Nov 14, 2012 04:27am
Even if the students pass from private schools what is the outcome after that?I mean we dont have any world ranked reputed universities or research centers in Pakistan or high caliber R&D research industry?What is the future?What are outcomes?
Sadia Wali
Nov 14, 2012 08:14pm
Sadia Wali Karachi. I agree with you that standard of education of private schools are more or less similar to those of government schools. The mushroom growth of private schools in urban areas especially has deteriorted the standard of education.As Iam a teacher I have observed that the level of teaching and teaching capabilities of teachers are not too high in private schools. Private schools may be better than government schools due to the facilites provided.There is a dire need to improve the condition of government schools and also enhance the teaching level..
Nov 14, 2012 11:39am
The Government sector can a bench mark against private sector if all rules and regulations must be implemented thoroughly, which are made to develop the plight of an eduction sector. Private sector has the only will to earn profit , instead of teach the nation. whereas its the government duty to make the whole nation educated.
Sabih Shad
Nov 14, 2012 02:15pm
Have locally elected school boards for public schools. They would then have the incentive to improve the public schools and private ones, bound to compete with the public schools would have no choice but to improve. Where are all the champions of democracy here?