Partnerships with non-state providers need to be approached with caution

Alina Lipcan, Ian MacAuslan, World Education Blog, Jul 18, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This post contains some good advice. While "policy makers in developing countries look for strategies to improve learning by engaging with private providers," the authors argue that education should continue to be publicly funded "and sensibly provided through a mix of providers, including local NGOs and “mom and pop” schools." There's no single model that works well everywhere. For example, while Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) are widely touted, the evidence " does not allow us to draw strong and universal conclusions about the impact of PPPs on learning outcomes," according the Ark Report (135 page PDF). Partnerships can start out well but evolve in a negative direction over time, as for example in the case of Colegios en Concesión (CEC), a contracting out model in Colombia, where "there has been progressively more room for student selection in each tender for the selection of providers."

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