Private schools in slums in Africa and Asia generate learning outcomes on a par with public schools at far lower cost and with fewer facilities.
In South Africa, there is a growing number of independent low-fee schools servicing poor learners in informal settlements, inner cities, former townships, and remote rural areas. More than 400 000 learners, 70% of whom are black, are educated in 1 900 registered private schools and in an unknown number of unregistered private schools.
Many people argue that the only way for children in poor countries to receive a basic education is through larger education budgets or more international aid for public schools.
That view, however, ignores the crucial role that private education can play, and is already playing, in meeting the educational needs of the poor.
Many parents prefer private schools in slums to local public schools because of the underperformance, impoverished learning and teaching culture, and shoddy management at many public schools.