Today, I would like to write about the role of private schools in public presenting the good and bad sides of these schools as a previous employee of a private school.
I guess the first question should be: if a country has an exceptional education system, should private schools exist at all? When we compare the best countries for public education (1) with their private school rankings (2), we can infer that if a state has a robust system, private school ranks decrease. For example, Germany and Switzerland have 96% public education and 4% private schooling with them ranking 3rd and 6th best in the world respectively. Likewise, the UK has 93% and 7% ranking 2nd.
One of the aims of a state is to give a rounded education to children. It must be moral and equal. However, there are many differences between public and private schools (3), and this situation creates inequality. Children compete on different terms with each other. Moreover, we cannot expect that these conditions grant them equality during their life. Same exams, same universities but different paths.
One more thing I can write about is the influence of parents on teachers. Not surprisingly, teachers feel pressured to give high grades to students at private schools. Parents demand this because they think that private schools should do it. They do not accept their child’s failure. Hence, teachers do not want to come face to face with parents. What’s more, teachers get harassed not to give chores like disposing of garbage, carrying desks, or cleaning classrooms to their children. Some mothers and fathers think that their children should not be pushed to do laborious activities.
On the other hand, some authorities support (with money) low-income family children to go to private schools. Should they do it? Should governments allocate funds for this or, instead of this, should they make public schools stronger? (4) We can never ignore the quality of private school facilities that public schools are stretched to provide. The former can have ice hockey pitches, swimming pools, small classes, better labs, better foreign language education and so on.
Maybe the last question to ask could be whether a student can improve and become capable under any conditions? How many talents come from schools? Does it matter whether a student is in a private or public institution? Alternatively, should one just self-educate?
Written by Oguz Yilmazlar