Private Schools as Battlefields: Contested Visions of Learning and Livelihood in Nepal

Caddell, Martha (2006). Private Schools as Battlefields: Contested Visions of Learning and Livelihood in Nepal. Compare: A journal of comparative education, 36(4) pp. 463–479.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03057920601024909

Abstract

Current policy and programme considerations of the role of the private sector in the promotion of schooling reform and the achievement of Education For All encompass a somewhat narrow arena of debate. Discussion of the relative merits of private / state schools remain based on measurable, yet partial, markers of efficiency and effectiveness. Further, while the rhetoric of partnership increasingly infuses discussion of private sector – state relations, this may mask more than it illuminates. Critical questions around the potential disjuncture between profit-orientation and social concerns are broadly sidelined. Drawing on insights from Nepal, where private schools have become key sites of struggle in the conflict between Maoist insurgents and the state, this paper argues for a more critical and politically engaged approach to understanding the contribution of private schooling to learning and livelihoods.

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