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Does private tuition affect the learning gap between private and public schools?

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The Annual Survey of Education Report (ASER) 2012 shows a growing prevalence of a shadow education sector in Pakistan with 34% of private school students and 17% of public school students taking private tuition in Punjab. Further, private tuition is found to have a positive significant affect on learning outcomes (Aslam and Atherton, 2013). Keeping this in view, it is possible that private tuition rather than a difference in schooling quality is driving the observed learning-gap between public and private schools.


Bisma Haseeb Khan

This study uses the Learning and Educational Achievement in Punjab Schools (LEAPS) data and analyzes the individuals who switch between taking and not taking private tuition, in a fixed effects framework to quantify the impact of private tuition on learning outcomes in public and private schools. It further analyzes the shadow education market looking at who supplies and who demands private tuition. The main findings suggest a positive significant affect of private tuition on learning outcomes, specifically for public school students. For the subjects Mathematics and Urdu, the learning-gap between public and private schools would remain even after accounting for private tuition but can be bridged by providing more of such tuition classes to the public school students. In English, the learning-gap would significantly be reduced once tuition is controlled for as private tuition significantly impacts private school students’ performance in this subject but not public school students’ performance. Further, the paper finds that tuition is more of a private sector phenomenon with private school teachers more likely to supply such tuition. However, the main stream teachers that provide private tuition do not shirk during regular class hours, as is normally believed, in order to create demand for their tuition classes. In fact, tutors exert similar efforts in school as their non-tutor counterparts. Lastly, tuition is taken as a supplement to formal education rather than as a substitute for low quality formal schooling.

 
About the presenter:

Ms. Bisma Haseeb Khan works as a Research Associate at IDEAS. She obtained her BSc (Honors) in Economics from Lahore University of Management Sciences and her MPhil in Economics from the University of Cambridge. Ms. Khan’s research experience includes graduate work in economic development and labor market dynamics. She has also presented papers at various academic conferences including the PERI and OSF conference titled “Globalization, Regionalization and Privatization in and of Education in Asia”, 2012 and the Annual General Meeting of the Pakistan Society of Development Economists, 2011. Her research interests include governance, development and education and labor economics.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 3/20/2013 03:33:00 PM,

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