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Public-Private Partnerships in Education - Key Issues


The key issues identified by the World Bank for support of the private-public partnerships include;

  • Access and Equity 
  • Quality
  • Efficiency
  • Complementarities between the Private and Public Sectors

Access and Equity
Where governments are not able to provide schooling facilities to all its population, private schools and public private partnerships in education are sometimes encouraged by governments as a policy.  For instance in Indonesia, private schools cater specifically to the poorest sections of society, with the government policy explicitly committing to the private schools and channeling public funding into schools.

Although more rigorous evidence is needed, it is clear that PPPs, contracting, and subsidy arrangements, coupled with rigorous quality assurance mechanisms and such interventions as teacher training and school improvement initiatives, can rapidly expand access to schooling and increase its quality.  The existence of private schools provides parents a choice, hence creating competition among schools and a drive to provide better quality education.

Evidence suggests that demand-side programs where government expands the choice of the schools to parents and students can be a cost effective way of increasing educational attainment and education quality. The case of Colombia, with a large scale voucher program, shows positive effects on quality.

Complementarities between the Private and Public Sectors
Private-Public-Partnerships can complement and enhance the role of the government in the provision of education. The task that each player can provide includes financial provision, pedagogical development, human resources development, service delivery, infrastructure, facilities management, among others. Furthermore, each partnership works in specific locations and markets. For these reasons, it is critical to investigate which are the appropriate roles of each stakeholder in the provision of education in the context of specific markets and locations.

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