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Choosing and changing schools in India’s private and government sectors: Young Lives evidence from Andhra Pradesh

James, Zoe and Woodhead, Martin (2014). Choosing and changing schools in India’s private and government sectors: Young Lives evidence from Andhra Pradesh. Oxford Review of Education, 40(1) pp. 73–90.

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The growth and increasing popularity of ‘low-fee’ private schooling across many parts of India has attracted much research and policy attention. This paper broadens the discussion by drawing attention to the increasing heterogeneity of the educational landscape in many communities. Our specific focus is on the consequences for school choices made by households across rural and urban Andhra Pradesh. The paper draws on longitudinal data for two cohorts comprising approximately 3,000 children, collected as part of Young Lives’ research, together with a qualitative sub-study involving a purposively selected sample of Young Lives parents and children. Trends in school choice are discussed, as well as the factors that underlie the schooling decisions that households make as they navigate the complex school hierarchies within their communities. The paper offers new evidence of an increasing trend for households to make successive choices of school for their children, as household circumstances change and school options are re-evaluated. Household survey data from 2009 show that 16% of a sample of eight year olds had moved school at least once during the early grades of primary school, an increase from 5% of a comparable sample of eight year olds in 2002. The consequences of a dynamic and more market-driven school system are explored, and implications discussed.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2014 Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1465-3915
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Young LivesNot SetDFID UK and Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Extra Information: Special issue: School quality counts: evidence from developing countries
Keywords: primary school; India; school changes; school choice; low-fee private
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 39150
Depositing User: Martin Woodhead
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2014 09:08
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2018 12:05
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