chapter  5
22 Pages

Making Rights Realities

Does Privatizing Educational Services for the Poor Make Sense?
WithKeith M. Lewin

This chapter makes the case for continued emphasis on public financing and provision of basic education to promote equitable development. In so doing, it accepts that private interests can and do have roles to play in educational development in low-income countries. The chapter explores terms to reduce the ambiguities inherent in debates around privatization. It develops a simple taxonomy of types of demands for private schools. Truly low-price private schools must actually be free to households if they are to enroll the poorest, who are well below the poverty line in low-income countries. Several different types of demand for private schooling coexist in low-income countries. It is useful to spell out their characteristics. First, in some low-enrollment countries there is demand arising from an absolute shortage of school places. Second, excess demand can coexist with what can be called differentiated demand.