Key Points:

  • The new CDE report: the Missing sector: Contract schools – international experience and South African prospects analyses a range of schooling models, revealing how they can deliver schooling to the poor as cheaply and often of better quality than the public sector.
  • These models essentially involve a contract or agreement between the state and private actors who run the schools with public funds in return for specified performance outputs.
  • Better quality schooling for the vast majority of South Africa’s poor is one of the most important priorities facing the country.
  • South Africa’s efforts to reform schooling have had an unnecessarily narrow focus, largely ignoring international trends for diversified and decentralized schooling delivery.
  • In many instances this has led to the formation of partnerships between government and non-state providers.
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