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Public private partnerships in education in India

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  1. Public private partnerships in education in India by Geeta Kingdon

  2. Quality crisis – primary level; secondary level Solutions not in inputs but in incentives for T and schools Performance related pay for teachers Changed accountability system via PPPs

  3. Public private partnerships • Private schooling growing rapidly • If private schools attract HHs, they must operate with some competitive advantages • Its the nature of these advantages that shapes views about how the private sector can be most effectively used • Challenge for policy – how to harness the efficiency / accountability of private schools to create better outcomes • PPPs are avowedly one way of doing that

  4. PPPs permit separating operation from funding

  5. Woessman’s findings suggest it makes fundamental diff how partnership between public & private is set up. private op with public funding brings large gains public op with private funding brings large losses

  6. PPPs in education • 2 types of PPPs combine private operation / public funding • direct aid to private schools (supply-side funding) • school vouchers to parents (demand-side funding)

  7. School Vouchers PPP – demand side funding • Govt funds go to schools via voucher to families • Aim - school choice sets up competition bet schools • Evidence – Colombia/Chile. 2 randomised studies • Critique - Exacerbate inequality • poor parents cannot supplement V, have to remain in public schools • private schools can reject poor applicants on grounds of low achievement • Suggested solution (Nechyba, 2005) • voucher amount made inverse to the economic status of HH, so poorest receive highest-value vouchers

  8. PPP in education in India • Aided Schools – extensive form of PPP • Enrolment share • History • Funding formula • Relative performance • Political economy aspects • New proposed PPP in education

  9. Inter-state variation in PA schools’ share of total public education expenditure

  10. History • Inherited from British • Originally by religious/linguistic minorities • At independence • avoided govt. regulations • teachers recruited by school • autonomy to set staff-discipline/firing policies • teachers paid out of school revenues • had to attract students to succeed – only partly funded

  11. Evolution, funding • Over time, aided school teachers became unionised • Lobbied in mid-late 1960s - paid directly by state • Passage of important Acts in 1971 and 1972 • In 1982, teacher recruitment by state appointed body • Massive centralisation; reduced local accountability • Efforts in 1990s to give local managers greater say opposed • Block grant, based on # of sanctioned teachers • No incentives in grant formula

  12. 12 – 22% of MLCs have been teachers

  13. Grant formula devoid of performance conditions and unresponsive to needs • Block grant, based only on number of sanctioned T • To increase efficiency, there needs to be a formula • pass rate fixed at a paltry 45 percent (pass mark set low 33%) • No. of working days • political manoeuvres overrule provisions to regulate grants • System of grants-in-aid same as 150 years ago. • By contrast, British system underwent revolutionary changes, became more objective. based on dozen needs indicators • Japanese & other countries’ grant formulae • Rational grant structure a policy correction potentially high pay-offs in terms of improved cost-efficiency

  14. Relative effectiveness of aided schools • Quantitative studies relied on small surveys – Govinda & Varghese (1993); Bashir (1994); Kingdon (1996) • Use different methods, diff levels of education, diff states • General conclusion • P schools outperform G and A schools in all 4 states • A schools outperform G schools in some states and the vice versa in others

  15. Summary of findings • Bashir (1994, 1997) Tamil Nadu, primary schools • P performed better than G in math • P performed no better than G in Tamil language but they were E/M • A schools more effective than G schools • Govinda and Varghese (1993) Madhya Pradesh primary schools • achievement levels in P schools considerably higher – in both maths and language – than in G schools. But they pool A and P schools • Kingdon (1994, 1996) Uttar Pradesh, junior schools • P school students outperformed their A and G counterparts • A and G schools were similar • Non-standardised comparisons across G, A, P schools • Tooley & Dixon (2003), Andhra Pradesh – don’t include A schools • CBSE board data (2004) Delhi Municipality area

  16. Problems of inference • Even with measured student traits inference is difficult • Need randomised experiment or correction for selection • Kingdon on UP, India, attempts to address SSB • Illustrate from that

  17. Political economy • This form of PPP not cost-effective • Lack of incentives in grant formula • Suffered loss of local accountability • Strength of unions (NCT) - “some of the Principals deposing before us lamented that they had no powers over teachers and were not in a position to enforce order and discipline. Nor did the District Inspectors of Schools and other officials exercise any authority over them as the erring teachers were often supported by powerful teachers’ associations. We were told that that there was no assessment of a teacher’s academic and other work and that teachers were virtually unaccountable to anybody” (NCT, 1986, p68). • Aided school teachers hold political office • Teachers are legislators (MLAs & MLCs) • Aided teachers in politically advantageous position • NCT 1986: “the most important factor responsible for vitiating the atmosphere in schools, we were told, has been the role of teacher politicians and teachers’ organisations”.

  18. Conclusions – so far • PPP not a panacea • The design of PPP matters • India’s experience has lessons • whether/what are incentives built into grant • capitulation to teachers’ demands for comparable treatment to G and to be sheltered from local level accountability • if A and G operate together, political pressure can mount, but? • Why certain PPPs work well or not, is the Q: devil in detail

  19. PPP reform in education • Considering new per-student subsidy to private schools; again supply-side • Draft ‘Right to Education’ Bill 2005 : private schools to give 25% of places to ‘weaker sections’ • Govt promises to reimburse the schools • Expect long queues; way of selection not specified • Implications for number of private schools / fee levels not thought through • unclear whether response will be to create new places or to replace 25% of existing students or both • If existing students replaced, departure of fee-paying students increases demand for establishment of new private schools, which will themselves allocate 25% places to poor students. Overall, number of private schools likely to increase • Govt will compensate schools at the lower of private school’s fee rate and PPE in public schools. Since public PPE is much larger, could increase private fee levels

  20. Lack of PPP debate • In many countries vigorous debate / experimentation with diff types of PPPs, including demand-side funding (vouchers) • [1] Non-acceptability of profit-based approach • Unlikely reason for lack of consideration of vouchers • India proposes to use P fee-charging schools • [2] Most obvious failure of schools – lack of resources • seen as demotivating • obvious solution – fix physical deficiencies/provide inputs • other countries, focus of reform moved to improving incentives • [3] Fear of upsetting powerful vested interests • teacher unions vehemently oppose decentralising reform • also likely to oppose competition reform • edu legislation follows teacher lobbying • no state govt. courage to touch Acts that upset TUs • possible TUs stronger force in India than others

  21. [4] Disappointing past experience with PPP • [5] Voucher schemes raise equity concerns (Hsieh & Urquiola, 2003; Ladd, 2002) • Arguably potentially addressed by voucher design • Voucher can be an efficient targeting tool, with higher voucher amounts going to poorer children • However, devising PPP scheme which targets diff voucher amounts to diff groups carries own admin and implem problems

  22. [6] Concerns about implementation • Will adequate private entrepreneurs come forward • How to implement choice in small villages • Weak systems to ensure compliance with standards • Illiterate parents making informed school choice • Scope for corruption under weak monitoring • PPP design needs careful thought • Formula needs reform, contracts encourage accountability • widespread debate • international evidence • pilot testing