Privatising Schools

Anand Teltumbde’s article “Keep Off Education” (EPW, 8 June 2013) on the proposed privatisation of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) schools is important because education cannot be left to the private sector; certainly not in the right to education (RTE) context. Education is a public good and not a tradable commodity as Teltumbde rightly mentions.

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) in education are not new. In fact PPP in education dates back to the Travancore state, when from around 1865, private agencies received liberal grants to help expand basic education (K K George, George Zachariah and N Ajith Kumar (2002): Grant in Aid Policies and Practices towards Secondary Education in Kerala, NIEPA, New Delhi). This model, presumably being beneficial, has expanded across most states, especially post-1980.

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