Why families in India are choosing private schools

As the education system in India grows rapidly to accommodate the burgeoning population, research has shown that increasing numbers of families are deserting the state sector in favour of private sector education.

Why families in India are preferring private schools
A review of private schooling in India has shown that in recent years there has been a rapid migration of students towards private schools, deserting state schools for the perceived benefits of a private school education.The research, commissioned by the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), showed that between 2010 and 2016 the number of private schools increased by over four times the number of state schools and the actual number of students in state schools decreased by 11.1 million students. In contrast the number of students enrolling in private schools increased by 16 million over the same time period.

Demand for international schools increases

The growth of English-medium international schools in India is a part of this trend. According to the International School Consultancy (ISC), there are currently 523 English-medium international schools in India, 30 per cent of them situated in Mumbai and Bangalore.This number is steadily increasing as the demand is led by a new generation of aspirational, relatively affluent local families. These parents are demanding increasingly high quality, international education and, by 2020 India's private education market is predicted to have doubled in value within the space of just four years.

30 per cent of Indian students attend private schools

The migration of students from state to private education has rendered a high proportion of state schools economically unviable to the extent that 24,000 government schools recently closed down. The research showed that almost 30 per cent of students in India are attending private, government unaided schools.
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 Contrary to popular belief that private schools are expensive, the study revealed that the main reason for the rapid growth of private schools in India is their affordability.Astonishingly, the vast majority of private schools – 80 per cent – are low fee schools when compared to the price that the Indian government pays for state school places.
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One of the main reasons for this is that government teacher salaries in India are high, not only in relation to private schools but also compared to those in other countries (Indian teachers’ wages are four times those of teachers in China, for example).

Increasing focus on teaching quality

Unfortunately, this high salary does not always translate into high quality teaching; in the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey – which tests the skills and knowledge of 15-year-olds with the aim of evaluating education systems – India ranked near the bottom and has since boycotted the three-yearly survey. This is set to change, however as the Indian government has announced plans to participate in the 2021 test.Relocating families should be aware that not all private schools are created equal. There has been concern among established international schools that institutions are being set up with the ‘International’ label which have no accreditation.Families should always look for a recognised school accreditation such as the Council of International Schools (COIS), The International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) and the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) if they are to ensure that their children receive the best quality education whilst living in India.
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