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Mapping and exploring the consequences of the rise of private education in Perú
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Mapping and exploring the consequences of the rise of private education in Perú

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by Maria Balarin

by Maria Balarin

Published in: Education, Economy & Finance

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  • The question about how to move public debate about private education forward is probably what concerns me most, because I think the ‘corrections’, policy changes and other actions around private education should follow from that.
  • 882 decree more overtly focused or directed towards the HE sector – many saw it as a law with specific names on it, those of educational entrepreneurs wishing to open businesses in the HE sector, and indeed it led to the creation of tenths of private universities throughout the countries –but it also had a strong impact in school educationPerú, for instance, has consistently been in the last positions of the PISA rankings, and the national assessments which have been conducted since the late 1990s show that most children do not achieve satisfactory learning results in maths and reading comprehension the early years of schoolingReading comprehension19.8% below level 149.4% level 130.9% achieve satisfactory level 2Maths49% below level 138.2% level 112.8% achieve satisfactory level 2
  • At the time when it was promoted 86% of all basic education enrolment was in public, state-funded schools. Today that proportion has gone down by 10 percentage points. But this overall number hides some important trends.In a country of 30.5 million people, Lima, the capital city, with 8.5 million, is home to around one third of the overall population. The public-private education trends here are much more stark:
  • –en Arequipa, Lambayeque, Ica, Tacna y La Libertad la matrícula privada en EBR para el 2009 fluctuó entre 22.5% y 36%
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    • 1. Mapping and exploring the consequences of the rise of private education in Perú María Balarin Group for the Analysis of Development (GRADE) - Perú
    • 2. The many faces of educational privatisation • Direct: from privately administered public schools and voucher systems to PPRs • Indirect: where private schools are allowed to thrive and public schools loose legitimacy due to government inaction or inefficiency, inadequate funding, etc. • While these two forms of privatisation might have similar consequences they pose specific challenges for articulating arguments and developing policy and other responses.
    • 3. Perú: privatisation by default • Different from cases in which a market rationale has been introduced into public education systems • Less overt – laissez-faire rather than direct policy actions seeking to introduce market rationale • Harder to influence public debate around private education – more difficult to build solid arguments • Consequences are harder to correct (eg. adjusted voucher systems)
    • 4. The rise of private education in Perú • 1980s – crisis of the state and of education – economic collapse, hyperinflation, mounting poverty, deepening internal violence. – record low investment levels in ed. and high enrolment rates; teacher deprofessionalization • 1990 – Fujimori’s rise to power – Structural adjustment – International organizations lead education reforms – Two early attempts at direct privatisation (Chilean style) – met strong opposition from union, church, etc. – Change of policy focus (infrastructure+primary education)
    • 5. The rise of private education in Perú – 1996: 882 Decree for “Promoting Private Investment in Education” • Enabled for profit investment in education • Flexible and light requirements for opening schools and HE institutions • Apparently more directed towards HE sector • Strong impact on school education • Marked lack of regulatory mechanisms – Throughout the 1990s and 2000s public investment in education remained low
    • 6. Latin America: Public sector education spending as % of GDP (2006-2008) Source: ECLAC
    • 7. Public spending per primary & secondary school student – 1998/2008 Source: ECLAC
    • 8. The rise of private education in Perú – Learning results remained low in the public education system as compared to the private – Other internal inefficiencies (school failure and dropout rates) remained high – Reform attempts – teacher training models, learnercentred education, curriculum change, decentralization – have failed to deliver improvements in quality – Not only because of low investment but also because of of lack of governance capacity, radical discontinuities in education policies, teacher deprofessionalization, etc. – Public education has become an education for the poor – an ‘educational apartheid’?
    • 9. The rise of private education in Perú • At the same time, with the doors opened by the 882 decree, private education was growing • In a country of 30.5 million, Lima, the capital city, is home to 8.5 million (one third of the population) • …
    • 10. Enrolment rates in primary and secondary public and private education in Metropolitan Lima 80.0% 69.9% 67.3% 70.0% 57.9% 60.0% 53.0% 50.0% 47.0% 40.0% 42.1% 30.0% Matrícula Pública EBR 32.7% 30.1% 20.0% Matrícula Privada EBR 10.0% 0.0% 1998 2003 2009 Source: INEI - Perú en Números (personal elaboration) 2012
    • 11. Perú: national public/private enrolment rates 90.0% 80.0% 86.0% 85.6% 84.8% 83.9% 81.3% 79.4% 70.0% 77.9% 76.2% 60.0% Matrícula Pública EBR 50.0% Matrícula Privada EBR 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 14.0% 14.4% 15.2% 16.1% 18.7% 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 20.6% 22.1% 2007 2009 23.8% 10.0% 0.0% Source: INEI - Perú en Números (personal elaboration) 2011
    • 12. Private/public enrolment rates in the poorest and more densely populated districts in Metropolitan Lima (2012) 80.0% 70.0% 70.0% 60.4% 58.8% 60.0% 62.2% 60.8% 58.2% 53.6% 52.1% 50.0% 55.7% 47.9% 41.2% 46.4% 39.6% 40.0% 44.3% 37.8% 41.8% Public school enrollment 39.2% Private school enrollment 30.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% Ventanilla Puente Piedra Carabayllo San Juan de Lurigancho Lurigancho Ate Pachacamac Villa María del Triunfo Source: INEI - Perú en Números (personal elaboration) Villa el Salvador
    • 13. The rise of private education in Perú • The number of private schools and enrolment figures in private education are growing throughout the country and for all socioeconomic groups • Private ed. growth coincides with economic growth, the rise of emergent middle classes with more purchasing power • Private education expansion is moving towards ‘low-fee private education for the poor’
    • 14. What private education looks like • Great variety: from elite to low-fee schools for the poor; corporate schools; church schools; one-off initiatives; high-cost to low cost, etc. • MARKEDLY loose regulatory framework – Easy to open private schools – Little or no accountability mechanisms – Very little influence from Ministry of Ed. – Usually private schools have outperformed public schools on national and international assessments (PISA), but different trends are emerging for schools in poorer areas
    • 15. What private education looks like • Little available data and evidence on the reality of private schools (need to map the phenomenon) and of the effects of privatisation on public education (hollowing out; segmentation; segregation) • Strong advocacy for private education from strong interest groups • Highly (exclusively) ideologised debate with little evidence (eg. segmentation, segregation) to support arguments on each side • Advocates of private education have the stronger hand
    • 16. The discourse in favour of private education “In few fields other than education is private initiative more necessary and beneficial… Those private entrepreneurs who decide to invest in education will find many opportunities to display their entrepreneurial capacity and will also have the opportunity to see the enormous benefit entailed by the introduction of a entrepreneurial attitude in the development of educational activities.’ (Luis Bustamante Belaúnde – Dean of Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas)
    • 17. The discourse in favour of private education ‘I invite you to dream with your feet on the ground. In 2021, in the bicentennary of our Republican Independence: • private education could enroll no less than 50% of all children and adolescents • Apart from directly providing a better education for one quarter of all Peruvians, the state will automatically increase its education budget because if could concentrate more [ie. the same amount of] resources in a smaller number of schools and students.’ (Susana Eléspuru – Peruvian Institute of Business Administration)
    • 18. Citizens’ perceptions of public/ private education • But this is also echoed by citizens • Two consecutive representative polls on education showed that around 79% of citizens think private education is better • Perceptions are supported by national assessment data which shows that private schools consistently outperform public schools – although the most recent assessments showed that public schools in some poor areas outperform private ones
    • 19. Reframing the debate on private education? • Possible arguments: – Questions of citizenship building, rights and social justice = weak in view of current perceptions, the unexamined idea that private is better, the “Lima consensus” – Questions about educational segregation: moving towards an understanding of how school composition impacts on children’s learning and what are the differences in the composition of public and private schools = unavailability of data on school composition • Policy choices – What kinds of actions could bring the private sector closer to fulfilling public goals?