Is private education good for society? | The Economist

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Across the world private education is booming. Though private schools and tuition promote inequality, Emma Duncan, our social policy editor, explains why governments should embrace the private sector's rise Read more here: https://econ.st/2X4ODsm Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: https://econ.st/2xvTKdy There is a big boom in private education all over the world. You see it in schooling numbers. The numbers of people going to private primary has gone up from 10 to 17 percent over the last 15 years. Secondaries gone up from 9 to 27 percent. Then if you look in particular countries you find for instance in China, there's a big increase in people going to elite private schools. But also huge business in terms of people getting online tuition. Parents are finding ways to spend money on the great competition to improve their children's brains. The resurgence is happening for a few different reasons and one of them is that incomes are going up, the birth rates are going down. So in families all over the world there is more money to spend on each child. If you look at the Chinese one-child policy you get six people: four grandparents, two parents, all of them willing to invest in the education of one child. At the same time you've had the whole of the world economy changing so that there are fewer unskilled jobs everywhere - almost all decent jobs require you to have a qualification of some sort. The great advantage of private education is that it's fantastically good at getting children in school. In countries where people are moving around a lot, which is most of the developing world, and where populations are growing swiftly - you get this huge swift urbanization. Governments just can't keep up. You'll get governments like Pakistan struggling with fast growing cities and has partnered up with the with the private sector to send poor kids, who would otherwise not be getting schooling at all, into private schools - and they're doing that with ove...