Promoting School Choice for the Poor Practical Ideas from International Experience: A conversation among Experts

"CDE’s report generated great interest, both in government and the private sector. It confirmed that private schools in South Africa do not only serve the rich. Low-fee private schools are growing rapidly because they offer poor parents viable alternatives to poorly-performing state schools. Today low - and mid-fee schools dominate this sector. The challenge for policy makers is how to build on this spontaneous, market-driven trend, so that access to quality education is expanded across the country to a wide range of income groups. Most education systems are made up of a mixture of private and public providers. Public schools have played and will continue to play the key role in ensuring that all South African learners have access to schooling. At the same time, the evidence suggests that it is in everyone’s interest that the private schooling sector continues to expand, offering alternative access to better quality schooling which has always been there for the rich, to as many South Africans as possible."