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Public Education and Quality 

Review of Evidence on the Effectiveness of Public Schools


Evidence on Public School Outcomes in India 

In this brief we examine the empirical evidence on learning outcomes and trends in parent choices that favor private schools over public schools. While the available ASER data records the higher performance of the students from private schools than in government schools, we find that these studies do not fully control for the family’s socioeconomic status of government and private schools or are measured imperfectly. Multiple studies that have controlled for these factors, have shown better outcomes for private school, but significantly reduced.

It is very difficult for the parents who are prioritizing their children’s learning to choose between private and government schools with insufficient information available on the school’s effectiveness on learning outcomes. There is still little research on student performance in public and private schools, what is known indicates that students from private schools perform better than those from public schools. In the absence of data on learning outcomes, parents rely on other proxy factors that align with their aspirations of English medium schools, and are swayed by infrastructure, uniforms, discipline, or quantity of homework that may not directly indicate quality.

Quality of Services Index: Education, Health and Banking 

Abundant evidence  shows that gender, class, caste and other social stratifiers intersect to determine an individual’s knowledge, access and experience of public services and benefits. Holding public systems accountable for the delivery of quality services to all potential beneficiaries, particularly the most marginalized sections of society, is an essential component of good governance.

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 In keeping with this deeply felt  need to ensure that public and civic bodies actually fulfill the purpose for which they exist, this report recommends a conceptual framework for a Quality of Services (QoS) index to map efficiency, impact and effectiveness of public services for girls and women.


The framework was developed based on qualitative research, including key informant interviews with civil society leaders, service providers and community members and focus group discussions with women in both rural and urban communities, as well as a multi-disciplinary literature review. The preliminary framework elaborates five dimensions of quality: availability, access, affordability, acceptability and accountability. Components of each dimension are elaborated, as are specifications to guide measurement. 



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