Private Schooling and Tutoring at Scale in South Asia


 Discussant (s) Priyadarshani Joshi, UNESCO

The chapter reviews trends and reasons for increased private schooling and tutoring in South Asia, and the systemic implications and governance strategies to tackle this proliferation. Focusing primarily on the most recent 5 years of academic and gray evidence, I find that Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka have experienced substantial growth in private tutoring. Private provision has grown due to a lack of adequate public supply. Parental demand for private schooling and increasingly tutoring is based on perceptions of better quality and interest in seeking a competitive advantage. Some systemic implications include concerns of equity and that the “shadow” system of private tutoring can begin to overshadow or supplant regular schooling. Regulatory systems in the region require significant reconsideration, given implementation challenges of existing regulations, and the growth and diversification of the private tutoring system.

Priyadarshani Joshi is a Senior Analyst with the GEM Report Team, UNESCO. Her primary research agenda and published work focuses on the equity and other systemic consequences of private schooling growth for the education system, using perspectives from public schools, parents and private schools. She is interested in improving the methodology and data strategies to better analyse choice and competition at a local level. Her secondary agenda focuses on the role of education in sustainable development goals, especially to improve gender equality and urban inclusion. She has previously held research positions at the IMF, and done consultancies at UNICEF and the World Bank. Her background is in education policy, economics and public policy – she has a PhD in Education Policy from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master’s in Public Administration (Economic Policy) from Princeton University.

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