Choosing the right school for your child is a big decision for parents. The education system has changed over time and the methods of instruction have changed over the years. Teaching methods have changed, merit assessment has been changed – and all this to make studies more intuitive and progressive for students.
There are basically two types of schools that parents need to consider – public and private. They differ in their ways of teaching, cost of education, amenities, and reputation. These are important factors that impact not only your child’s life but yours as well. A good school means you are not worried about your child’s academic progress, a bad school has all kinds of negative consequences. Considering these parameters, we will try to compare and contrast between public and private schools.
They are mostly Government aided schools (sometimes from funds from corporations or Organizations) and, usually, twice the size of private school, according to the US Department of Education data.
According to a study by the National Center for Education Statistics, public school teachers are more qualified in terms of education and experience as they have state approved degrees and other trainings. The study also states that public schools focus more on the core subjects like maths, English, social studies and science.
Public schools can sponsor and arrange for big events, mainly due to their size or funds. They also have special programs for handicapped or disabled students. They are bound by the law and obligated to these facilities. The expenses are much less in a public school and they have to admit anyone who comes to them. This also means that they have a diverse group of students.
They mostly run on tuition fees, or funds from a trust or charity. Hence, they are more expensive than public schools. They are smaller in size and number of students per class is also less. Studies show that on an average, private schools have a teacher-student ratio of 9:1, whereas public schools have 17:1.
Private schools are not obligated to the law and they have a specific admission process to follow. They can accept or reject applications based on the guidelines. They also do not have specialized programs for disabled or needy students, as in they are not bound to have.
The parent involvement in private schools is much more than in public school. Their curriculum is sometimes experimental and less bureaucratic as opposed public schools, where the curriculum is general and designed for all. The quality of teachers is also different in private schools. They have more specialized teachers, who might not require a certain certification as in public schools. Private schools can terminate the tenure of teacher based on their own guidelines unlike public schools.
Another important aspect of differentiation is the level of education. As per statistics, 61% of private schools are elementary, whereas the figure for public schools is 71%. Moreover, 10% of private schools are secondary, which 25% of public schools comes in this category. However, 30% of private schools have combined education levels as compared to only 4% of public schools.
Your decision of the right school today, shapes your child’s future tomorrow. However, apart from the above parameters, location, ideology, school environment, safety and school/class size. So, research well before choosing a school as this is the most important foundation for your child for the rest of their life.