Education plays a critical role in socio-economic development of a country. The importance of education is universally recognized. Education is a process of learning that makes an individual confident, aware and active. It improves human capabilities and accelerates economic growth through knowledge and skills.
Education in Pakistan is both provide by public and private sector. The education that is provided by public sector is less expensive than private sector. For the last few decades private sector emerging as an important source of imparting education in Pakistan providing education at all levels.
Private schools were the original educational entities in the United States (U.S. Department of Education, 2005) and they have played an important role in educating America’s youth since the 1980’s (Broughman, 2006).
The number of private elementary and secondary schools in the United States has increased from 26,093 in the 1993-1994 school year to 28,384 schools in the fall of 2003, according to the National Centre for Education Statistics (1996 and 2006). Whereas the total enrolment for private schools has increased from 1989 to 2005, the percentage of school-aged students in the United States has decreased from eleven to nine percent (Livington, 2008). Currently, private school enrolment is approximately ten percent of the total elementary and secondary school- aged children (Broughman, 2006).
Current perspectives highlight the importance of educational sector in designing the socioeconomic development of a country. Mostly, parents try to ensure the best possible educational environment for their children. It develops human resources required for socio-economic development. The utilitarian aspect of education provides incentive to both government and individuals to invest in education. The government provides for education through expenditure on education and facilitation of the process of education while individual’s expenditure on education is shared by the parents in terms of fee structure etc.
Almost all parents want to educate their children in the best possible educational environment. Many of the parents prefer private school for their children Private schools have improved their quality by providing good education to students. In recent years, the private schools have improved their quality, attracting good input through fee concession ranging from a specified percentage to full fee concession. These schools, on one hand are educating youth and on other hand, are emerging as an important sector for the investors interested in investment in this sector. Many aspects regarding the education system of Pakistan have been discussed in various studies so far. However, the factors which motivate the parents to make a decision about private sector are yet to be explored.
Admission of a children is a stressful activity not only for parents but also for their children itself. Admission is not an important decision to make for parents because they want to give quality education and other facilities too from the very beginning of their early age. Surveying helped to figure out the concerns that parents have regarding their child’s admission. It is difficult task to study the scholastic and co-scholastic curriculum of each and every school and then takes up the decision by keeping the list priority wise.
There are several reasons behind parents’ decision of choosing private schools over government schools. Parents wants their child to get individual attention and it is possible in private school where at primary stage the class strength is not more than 15-20 students on an average. Most of the private schools work on three ways partnership model which is involving parents, teachers and children to give the children a comfortable environment to learn better. The children are promoted to next class based on their evaluation basically based on observation. Children are not only observed on their pace of learning but also their active participation in other activities too. So parents prefer school with balanced program which focuses on both curricular and curricular activities
Most of the private schools work on three ways-partnership model which is involving parents, teachers and children-to give the children a comfortable environment to learn better. Parents’ preferable factors when choosing a school for their children are different for elementary as well as for middle school. Such as in elementary school, parents are more concerned towards school safety, positive discipline, siblings in the same school while for middle school, they are more inclined towards school safety, positive discipline, availability of visual/performing arts programming.
One of the most common reasons for choosing private schools is that parents believe their children get a superior education, according to Bauch and Goldring (1995) and Moe (2001). Parents are attracted to the smaller class size and educators acknowledge that smaller classes foster close working relationships between teachers and students, thereby enhancing learning (NCES, 2002). Parent involvement is also a factor in choosing a private school (Goldring & Phillips, 2008). Some private schools require both student and parent to undergo a battery of interviews and tests. These schools embrace the idea that education is a partnership consisting of the parent, child and school (Kennedy, 2008). Additionally, researchers report that parents are more satisfied with their children’s education, citing parents’ beliefs that their involvement and communication are more easily facilitated and valued in the private school setting (Goldring & Phillips, 2008).
Socioeconomic indicators are a large contributing consideration experienced by parents while deciding about their children’s schooling. Indicators of socio-economic background include: the status composition of parents’ education, parents’ occupational status, and inco and family material possessions.
All of these factors influence parents’ satisfaction with their choice of school for their children, as they consider the career status options likely to eventuate for their child (particularly as a direct result from their schooling experiences) and their long term well-being.
All parents naturally aspire the best for their children in terms of education. This includes the parental responsibility to safeguard and promote their child's health, development and welfare in their child’s best interests. Parents have the right to express their preferences for a particular school that they want their children to attend (Scottish Executive, 2006). The private schools are more effective than public schools with same students and parents composition mainly due to school environment. Educational environment, teacher-student ratio, parents’ education, their profession and smaller size of classes at private schools are among the few reasons which help parents in selection of school (Dronkers and Peter, 2003).
Private schools are fulfilling this desire by making every effort to insure that their student population is racially, ethnically, and economically diverse (Kennedy, 2008).
There are several reason behind parent’s decision to send their children in private sectors. Parent’s occupational status is also associated with school choice. The parents who are highly qualified want to provide their children education in private sector.
Parents choose to send their children to private schools for a variety of reasons, including the quality of education anticipated and their children’s preparation for the future. There are numerous studies that cited parent satisfaction for choosing a private school education (CAPE, 2008).
This study is an attempt to find out the factors behind parents’ decision in choosing private schooling for their children.
1.1 Statement of problem:
The present study aimed to explore the reasons which convince parents to send their children in public sector schools instead of private sector schools. Moreover, the study also tried to understand the reasons for which parents send their children in private schools.
1.2 Research purpose or aim
This research study aims to analyse the factors which influence the parent’s decision in selection of private schooling
1.3 Research Objectives:
- To identify the factors that encourage the parents to choose private schools for their children
- To explore the reasons which convince parents to avoid public school while choosing school for their children
- To compare parents perspective concerning school choice.
1.4 Main Research Question:
- What are the factors encouraging parents to send their children in private schools?
- Why do parents send their children in private sector?
1.5 Specific Question:
- What reasons do parents give for choosing a school?
- Which basic things parents consider while choosing a school for their children?
1.6 Significance of the research study:
The significance of this study, from a practical viewpoint to understand the motivation of parents for sending their children to private schools. This information may be used as a source to improve parental involvement and satisfaction in public schools.
This study contributes to the professional literature by helping to understand the reason behind parents’ choice toward schools. Factors that motivate parents to send their children to private schools were examined and the decision-making process explained.
This study is also helpful to explore the experience of those parents who send their children in private sector. The finding of this study may helpful for the public sector to adopt those thing which attract the parents to enhance their quality of education.
So the present study has high significance in terms of its originality as it targeted that phenomenon which exists in our country but has been given little consideration in research. Further, this research was an attempt to fill the gap between theory and practice as this phenomenon has being practiced.
Finally, the present study is a valuable contribution for prospective researchers, academicians and most significantly the major stakeholders (parents) of this phenomenon who are despondent.
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Chapter 2 Literature Review
The aim of this section is to review the literature available on this research study of factors encouraging parents to choose private school, parental choice, Determinants of Parents’ Choice in Selection of private Schools, why parents avoid public sector and impact of parents’ choice on child performance.
Nameen R, Jangraiz K (2010) explored the factors which motivate parents to choose a particular school for their children. The results revealed that family size, parents’ education, income of parents, teacher qualification, school performance and dissatisfaction from particular schools are the most important variables which affect the parents’ decision regarding selection of public or private school in the study area.
Parents choose a private school education because of a more disciplined environment, a religious education or a higher opportunity to participate in extracurricular sports (Lips, 2005). Parents were more likely to state academic superiority and school safety as reasons for choosing a private school education for their children (Goldring & Rowley, 2006). Diwakar S. (2016) investigated various parameters on which parents takes their final decision are distance, quality education, curriculum, activity based learning, teacher competency, exposure given to a child, achievements of the school, school’s goodwill, scholastic and co- scholastic activity, sports provision, techno-based learning, healthy environment. Marlow (2010), pointed out that “Private schooling is clearly one option for parents unhappy with public schools and therefore private enrolments may inversely influence public school performance as long as private schools outperform public schools.”
Ikoya and Oluremi (2009) study showed the avoidance of public sector, parents gave their major causes as poor assessment results, inferior learning services, inappropriate learning Environment, overloaded classes, poor discipline, poor teaching, and physical punishment.
Van Pelt, Allison and Allison, (2007) investigate that demographics characteristics of parents such as, the parents level of education and the parents with high occupational categories preferred private school over public sector and these becomes the reasons they select the private school for their children.
Parents listed greater satisfaction, more involvement in school activities and the expectation of college graduation as a result of their children attending private school (Bielick & Chapman, 2003).
Private schools actively seek diversity by drawing students from many communities. Overall, private school parents are more likely to have a positive perception of and satisfaction with their schools (NCES, 1995).
Peterson & Llaudet (2006), studied shows that Parents who send their children to private schools and the general public think that private schools are academically superior.
Rothstein (2006) found that study finding students’ academic achievement had effect on parental school choice, and no evidence that school choice improves average school effectiveness.
Bast and Walberg (2004) investigated, can parents choose best school for their children. The results showed that most of parents keep in mind on top the academic achievement for their children long term performance. Parents have the right incentive and access to information for selection of best choice.
Beavis (2004) Reported the findings related to family background factors associated with parents who choose private. The parents who have dissatisfaction with the public schools usually sent their children in private school.
Dronkers and Peter (2003) stated the differences between private schools and public school is mainly because of the school environment which convince parents to choose private school.
Hoxy (2002) found that parents chose a private school more often because of positive learning environment .The parents at the time of school selection keep in mind the teachers education, institutions quality, teacher’s effort and teacher’s command over the subject.
Goldring & Hausman (1999) concluded that the parents who exercise their choice options are better educated and have higher incomes than the parents who do not take advantage of the school choice options Figlio and Stone (1997), one of the main reasons for the existence of private schools is to offer a better education than public schools & because they believe these schools offer a superior or distinct kind of education that provides more services for their children.
Arum(1996) concluded on the basis of his study in USA that student teacher ratio differ in public and private schools in various states in USA. It affects the student outcomes and is responsible for difference in public and private schools.
Kraushaar (1972), examined that Private schools are generally smaller than public schools, therefore being in the position of establishing sociable relationships with parents and keeping them informed of their children’s progress
Jackson, C. and Bisset, 2005 established that the status of the school and exam results of schools are key features that guiding parents’ school choices.
Ava M. Davis, 2011 study showed the results that, the parents’ observation of a private sector was based on the perceived school characteristics and the quality of education their kids would obtain in the school.
Chapter 3 Methodology
Nachmias and Nachmias (1992) defined methodology as a system of explicit rules and procedures upon which research is based and against which research claims for knowledge are evaluated. The purpose of methodology is to describe and explain research design and techniques of research as Merton (1957) referred methodology as the logic of scientific procedure.
The process used to collect information and data for the purpose of making business decisions.
The methodology may include publication research, interviews, surveys and other research techniques, and could include both present and historical information.
The purpose of this study was to examine the reasons parents chose to send their children to private schools. This chapter will include a description of the research design, participants, and the instrumentation that was used in the study.
This portion present the sample which was selected and will set out the method used for data collection along with the process of data analysis. Finally, it will discuss ethical issues and limitations associated with this study.
3.1 Research Design:
The research design is the plan of research that is used to answer the research objectives. It is a framework to solve a specific problem.
A qualitative approach was chosen as the research method for this study. In general, qualitative research methods are especially useful in discovering the meaning that people give to events they experience (Bogdan & Biklen, 2003). This research design was used to fulfil the researcher’s goal of understanding the motivation for parents to choose a private institution to educate their children.
3.2 Universe/Research site:
The area of present study was Gujrat.
3.3 Participants (sampling):
The ideas behind a specific sampling approach vary significantly, and reflect the purposes and questions directing the study. In choosing the sample of participants the researcher used a purposive sampling method. The sample comprised of eight parents of students who send their children private schools. A short biography of each participant was given.
Purposive sampling (also known as judgment, selective or subjective sampling) is a sampling technique in which researcher relies on his or her own judgment when choosing members of population to participate in the study.
A purposive sample is a non-probability sample that is selected based on characteristics of a population and the objective of the study. Purposive sampling is also known as judgmental, selective, or subjective sampling.
Participants of this research were those parents whose children were enrolled and getting education private schools. Eight participants were interviewed. Information related to participants is given below:
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