Education is viewed as the bench mark for success in many societies. The level of education that one has is viewed as his/her self worth from the societal point of view. There has been a debate on whether parents should educate their children in private or public schools. This is because some people view both private and public schools from different view points. Whatever the position taken, it must be appreciated that regardless of the position taken regarding this issue, discipline is critical for success in any field.
This article explores the similarities and differences between private and public schools. In finding out these similarities and differences, this article discusses several areas such as the curriculum, facilities, rules and regulations, teaching methods, population and overall performance among other variables. These variables are discussed below.
In both private and public schools, the curriculum taught is principally similar. Institutions of learning in a country tend to follow the laid down syllabus by the nations ministry of education since the exams are administered from the same examination body. It’s thus imperative that the students are taught the same content so as to compete at a level ground with their counterparts in private schools.
The teaching methods employed in teaching, in both public and private schools are basically similar. Since the teachers in this institution are trained at similar training institutions, they tend to employ similar teaching methods. For instance, science lessons will incorporate practical lessons whether it’s in a private or public set up. Languages will require students to practice reading, writing and speaking to perfect ones grasp of a particular language.
Rules and regulations in these learning institutions are similar. Although there may be some slight variations in the regulations, the basic principles of discipline are universally followed by both private and public institutions. Indiscipline is a punishable offence in all the institutions and all the students are expected to maintain high levels of self discipline whether in private or public schools.
The facilities available in these learning institutions tend not to have a big variation. In a typical school whether private or public, class rooms, a library, dining room for boarding schools, dormitories or hostels among other facilities will be found. These facilities are also found in the private schools. The only variation may be the designs or capacity of the structures.
Besides all the above similarities, there are several notable differences between these two types of learning institutions. Key among them is the cost of education. The individual cost of education in a public school is notably lower than in private schools. This is because in public schools, most of the services and facilities are subsidized by the government. On the other hand, the proprietors of private schools have to bear all the costs of running their institutions. This means that they have to charge more per student to be able to meet the costs of running the schools and also make some money as profit. This is because private institutions are business undertakings and the owner expects to make a return on the investment.
Students in private schools tend to be those from affluent backgrounds. This is because they are able to afford the huge amounts of fees charged by these institutions. These institutions charge as much as three times the amount of fees charged by the public schools and these amounts are deterrent to the students from poor backgrounds.
The population in private schools is notable smaller than that in public schools. Due to the deterrent charges by these schools, they tend to attract only few students from affluent backgrounds who can afford the high charges. The public schools on the other hand are flocked by students from all backgrounds and this tends to strain the available facilities.
There is more students -teacher attention and interaction in private schools as compared to public schools. Due to the smaller number of students in these institutions, teachers can have a closer attention to their student learning needs as opposed to public institutions where a single teacher may be overburdened with almost one hundred students, making it almost impossible for him to pay attention to individual student learning needs.
Performance in private schools tends to be better than that in public schools. Due to the smaller number of students and the improved teacher student interactions, the teachers are able to identify individual student learning needs, address these needs and improve the general performance of the school. In public schools however, the overall mean performance of the schools tend to be low as a result of a larger number of students and inadequate teacher student interaction
The most controversial difference between these two institutions is the level of discipline amongst the students. It’s believed that students from affluent backgrounds tend to have a care free attitude towards every thing and this has contributed to indiscipline in their institutions compared to their public school counterparts. Although there are no empirical studies to prove this, behavioral scientists attribute these differences in the level of discipline to the student background. They believe that most indiscipline cases could be avoided if the student has limited resources. For instance, a student who does not have money may not engage in drugs unlike his counterpart who can continuously afford drugs. This argument is however, based on the premise that students in private schools have a higher financial ability compared to those in public schools.
The students experience in the private schools is different from that in public schools. For in stance in private schools, students have an attitude of commitment and purpose. As a result of the customized teacher attention, students tend to experience a sense of commitment to their goals and objectives, since they are adequately guided by their teachers. In the public schools, there is little sense of commitment and purpose to education. Due to the large numbers of students and a poor student teacher ratio, students feel neglected and tend to lose direction on their education objectives.
The experience that one gets in a private school is that every thing in the institution is of high quality and standards. For instance, the learning materials used, structures and buildings, meals, teachers among others. This contrasts with the situation in public schools in which students are used to low end products and services. This means that students in private schools are more comfortable compared to those in public schools who have to content with low quality services that are government subsidized.
The experience in private institutions is that procedures tend to be fast and efficient. The process of admission for instance in a private school may take just a couple of minutes while the bureaucratic structures and procedures in public schools may take one several hours to finish the admission process. Students in private schools thus tend to enjoy the fast and efficient procedures in their institutions.
There are more fun activities in private schools than in public schools. Students tend to participate more in extracurricular activities in private than in public schools. Students thus tend to enjoy themselves more in private schools than in public schools. They actually have an attitude that public schools are boring and quite uneventful.
In summary, the decision to educate children in either private or public institutions depends on several factors such as availability of fees, proximity to the institutions, and quality of education in the available institutions, amongst others. A parent should put all these and other factors into consideration in deciding the type of schools to take their children. They should however not sacrifice grades for discipline since these two elements are essential in building a holistic individual.