Monday, September 3, 2012

The Education Mafia – Private Education – Part 3

The private education sector is thriving. With the current problems in the state education system, any parent who has the means is seriously considering this option. They weigh the pros and cons and come to the conclusion that they will educate a son or daughter to an international degree level by the time they are 21 or before in the private sector.

This is a huge draw, as in the state system a degree is awarded at the age of 26 at the earliest due to various delays in the process up to graduation. That 5 year head start is valued at Rs5M. So if they do have that kind of money and could invest it in private education, all the way from secondary to tertiary sectors, you get the pay back in full by the time their offspring is 26. It is therefore a no brainer!

So what gives? The quality of education is for the buyer to watch out for. There is no clearly regulated system at present and there are moves a foot to have laws to tighten regulation. The bad will fail with no takers.

It is now arguable that with the increasing prosperity in the country, there is a greater need for private education, especially in the tertiary field. The numbers by definition have to be higher than the state sector which only takes in 10% of those qualified for university admission due to the dearth in places for them.

The next question is the availability of employment for these thousands that are coming out of the private field. The state graduates, find that the private graduates are preferred and therefore face a further hurdle in their job search resorting to political connections to get Govt. jobs, which now turn out to be far less quality than they had hoped for due to the scarcity in the areas where the applicant is searching.

Make no bones about it. The private sector education is here to stay, it is a huge business, and is thriving. It is making money and in time will settle down, when supply and demand come into equilibrium and only the good and quality survive. It is just a matter of time for the shake out.

I advise all who can to take up private tertiary education in preference to the state system, if the economic circumstances can underwrite the cost. It will put less pressure on the state system which can improve its quality.

Their is really no value in stopping private education as the state sector just cannot fill the void, and it is better for the state sector to improve their quality to compete with the private sector, and beat it if they can rather than try to absorb a greater number of students which the University Teachers Unions seem to want.

We must concentrate on improving the quality of ALL those who seek education, private or state and and have something for all people at different economic levels so that people are not left behind merely due to financial constraints.