giovedì 10 agosto 2017

L’ élitismo dei poveri

L’ élitismo dei poveri

That Was No Discovery After All – The Beautiful Tree: A personal journey into how the world’s poorest people are educating themselves – James Tooley
Trigger warning: –  l’istruzione privata funziona per i ricchi. Ma per i poveri? – perché i poveri di tutto il mondo si rivolgono prevalentemente al privato per la loro istruzione? – due pregiudizi sull’ istruzione privata –  tutti vedono senza guardare in faccia la realtà della scuile del terzo mondo – la trasparenza del privato come carta vincente nella concorrenza pubblico/privato – le analisi reticenti, due casi esemplari: Sen e Oxfam – fatti riconosciuti e non valorizzati: l’arte di nascondere quel che succede –
the private schools might be there, some might even be better than the public schools, but that’s only because they are selective. “They take the cream of the cream,”
“Most of the schools are shocking, there is a shocking turnover of teachers, they’re not trained, they’re not committed, and the proprietors know that they can simply get others because there is a long list of people waiting to come in.”
For Sajitha it was clear: if many—or even a few—parents had higher aspirations for their children and wanted to send them to private schools, then “they should not be allowed to do so, because this is unfair.” It’s unfair because it makes it even worse for those left behind.
It was one thing to argue that “education for all” could be secured only through public education supported by international aid if you were unaware of private schools for the poor. But as soon as you knew that many poor parents were exiting the state system to send their children to private schools, then surely this must register on your radar as being worthy of comment in the “education for all” debate?
India, enrollment in primary private schools was already above 30 percent, and there was “a further acceleration” of the numbers by the late 1990s, “especially in areas where public schools are in bad shape.” In urban areas, the trend was even more startling, with the proportion in private schools estimated at 80 percent or more. As I read this, it seemed hard to reconcile these statements with the notion that private schools were patronized mainly by the elite—
Rather than further explore their choices, Sen criticized poor parents for making them: in villages in Uttar Pradesh, he wrote, poor parents’ response to nonfunctioning public schools was “to send their sons” to study in “private schools.”
A major source of Sen’s evidence was the Public Report on Basic Education (the PROBE Report)… It too was clear that “even among poor families and disadvantaged communities, one finds parents who make great sacrifices to send some or all of their children to private schools…
The PROBE team’s findings on the quality of public schools were even more startling.
So what was the secret of success in these private schools for the poor? The report was very clear: “In a private school, the teachers are accountable to the manager (who can fire them), and, through him or her, to the parents (who can withdraw their children). In a government school, the chain of accountability is much weaker,
I read the summaries at the beginning and end of The Oxfam Education Report, a standard textbook for development educationalists, and again I found only the accepted wisdom that governments and international agencies must meet the educational needs of the poor.
But then again, hidden away in a chapter titled “National Barriers to Basic Education,” was the extraordinary (but downplayed) observation: “The notion that private schools are servicing the needs of a small minority of wealthy parents is misplaced. . . . It is interesting to note that a lower-cost private sector has emerged to meet the demands of poor
That poor parents in some of the most destitute places on this planet are flocking to private schools because public schools are inadequate and unaccountable seemed to me to be hugely significant territory for development experts to concede.
exploring this conundrum that something the poor were doing for themselves seemed to be systematically ignored by development experts
He told me: “The governor asked me, “Why are you putting your energies into building schools? Leave it to the Ministry of Education.” But if we waited for government it would take 20 years. We need schools now.”
We visit one at the foot of the hill, Ubaya-binu-Kalab School, with 1,060 students, charging monthly fees of 12,000 Somaliland shillings, about $5. The owner told me that 165 of the students attended for free, the poor again subsidizing the poorest.
I was ready to start the research—promising to examine in more depth the phenomenon of private schools for the poor in India, in a range of African countries, and in China, too. TheJohn Templeton Foundation was taking a risk: