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All parents want the best education for their children. Private or public (state) schools: best choice for kids intellectual development and socialization?
Why is education so important?
The type of education parents offer to their children is an extremely important and divisive issue. Scientific research shows that the level and quality of the education our children receive decisively shape their future employment prospects and social status. Children develop their world views throughout elementary and secondary school. They learn the basics of language, math, biology, history, etc. Schools also contribute to shape kids' personality and social skills. If children enjoy school and perform well they will have better chances of going to a good university or choose their paths in life. Good schools may open many doors, the same than bad schools may make really difficult for our kids to fulfil their potential.
It is also important that children feel comfortable in their schools. They could be a source of emotional, behavioural, and social problems. Bullying and exclusion may hinder their educational experience and personal development. These are some of the reasons why some parents prefer homeschooling. The types of friends and educational environment children are exposed to largely define their expectations and options available in their lives. Thus, choosing the right education is crucial. But is it better to send your children to a private school or to a public school. Where do you think your children would learn more subject content and skills? What about their socialization? What type of friends would you like them to make? We discuss the pros and cons of private and public education.
Private vs public schools
Education is considered a public service and human right and all countries offer public elementary education. The quality of the education offered by state-run schools varies. In some countries public education has very high standards and enjoys good reputation. Parents would not doubt sending their children to those public schools. However, in other parts of the world the quality of public education is not so high in absolute terms, or relatively to that offered by private schools. Perceptions and priorities make parents choose one type of education over the other.
Reasons for private education
- Private institutions often have more resources than public institutions. They tend to have better ratios teachers/students and better equipment and materials.
- Private institutions may pay higher salaries and thus attract better qualified teachers. Some parents think that public services are never of the same quality of private services and consider public education as mediocre.
- Private schools may be more selective and accept mainly high achieving students.
- In private schools usually there are fewer children with family or social problems. These pupils, affected by their underprivileged environment, tend to perform worse and may slow down the rest of the class.
- Private schools have more flexibility in terms of the curriculum they teach and do not to follow as strict guidelines as public schools. They may teach religion or some subjects that may not be offered by state schools.
- In some elite private schools students become part of social networking circles that will help them throughout their lives. Many of the former pupils from these elite schools become very successful politicians, academics or businessmen.
Reasons for public education
- State schools are free, while private schools sometimes require a large investment. That extra cost is is not always justified from the point of view of the quality of the education received. The privatizaton of education concerns greatly many parents.
- Public schools are more equalitarian and democratic than private ones. Many parents reject private schooling because they believe it contributes to perpetuate a socially stratified and unequal society.
- In some countries public schools are more prestigious than private ones. Many pupils are accepted in private schools not because they are good students but because their parents have money. Moreover, it is difficult to fail children when their parents are paying high fees.
- Teachers that do not manage to enter the public education system usually end up teaching in private schools. These teachers are often less qualified.
- Private schools are sometiemes gender segregated or follow a particular worldview or religious doctrine that not everyone may endorse.
- There is much diversity in public schools than in private schools. Elitism may not be that good from the point of view of socialization. Many parents want their children to interact with other children from diverse backgrounds.
But which type of education have you chosen or would you choose for your children? Are private schools really providing a better education? Does it worth the investment? Are private schools creating a more divided and unequal society?
If you change your mind, you can change your vote simply by clicking on another option.
Private vs public schools: which type of education do you prefer for your children?
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