Private vs. Public School, Does it Matter?
The homeschooling movement underscored an important issue in education: there are disadvantages to both private and public education. Which option is better is not clear-cut, and every parent is recommended to conduct careful deliberation when making the decision where to enroll their child.
In the private vs. public school debate, there are no heroes or villains. The answer really depends on several factors, and you have to weigh which factors are more important to you.
Quality of Education. It’s a general perception that private education is of greater quality than public school education. For one, the student-instructor ratio in private schools tends to be lesser, making teaching more personalized. Secondly, private schools have greater resources and liberties to make add-ons in their curriculum and teaching style, to help enhance the learning process.
But this is just a myth. If you look at the passing rate of many state schools in standardized examinations, you’ll find that many public schools are competitive when it comes to academic instruction. Some public schools have higher achievement ratings that their private school counterparts!
What spells the difference is really student motivation and parental support. If you can be around to closely monitor your child’s education, public school does offer more than adequate quality education.
Secular or Religious Instruction? Now, here is an area where the difference between public and private schools matters. Most private schools are run by particular religious or ideological institutions. At the very least, administrators and school owners advocate a particular way of life.
This fact can either be a comfort or a bane to parents. Some parents prefer private schools for the very reason that they want their kids to grow up with the school’s values and beliefs, in the company of other kids with the same belief system.
Other parents prefer public schools precisely because they wish to steer their kids away from slanted education! The student body in public schools tends to be really diverse, allowing for greater opportunities for cultural enrichment.
Cost. Another significant area of consideration: how much would you have to shell out? Private school can cost quite an arm and a leg, and one of the primary reasons why parents prefer public schools is the government subsidy.
This said, high tuition fees are not forgone conclusions when you apply to private schools. You can avail of scholarship programs in private institutions to make private school are friendlier to your budget. You may also look for private schools ran by foundations or community groups for that cheaper alternative.
Access. Definitely public schools offer greater access to education. By law, a public school can not discriminate; it must admit all students regardless of economic standing, previous performance, race, religion or special needs.
Extra-curricular Formation. Which school offers development opportunities outside academics? Private schools may initiate these activities on their own; even embed it in the curriculum.
Some states are so well-managed that they have been able to acquire funding for formative extracurricular classes like art, music, programming etc. Community developers are also more likely to sponsor extra-curricular activities in the public school setting, making extra-curricular formation accessible to public school students.
At the end of the day, the strength of a school can be judged only on a case-to-case basis. Not all private schools are equal and the same can be said of public schools. Adjustment may also be made to compensate for a disadvantage found in a particular school.
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