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Private vs. Public Schools – Which is better for your child?
Becoming parents is one of the most cherished dreams of many married couples as they can’t wait to welcome their bundles of joy into the family. When these bundles of joy come and begin to grow, parents face the hard task of deciding where to send the children to school — whether to public schools or private schools.
The public schools are funded or subsidized by the government. So, depending on the country, you either do not have to pay for your child to attend a public or you pay very little. The private school is the direct opposite in this respect as they often carry humongous price tags that can run an average family down financially.
Money seems to be a major factor which parents consider when trying to decide where to send their children to school. So we almost automatically expect the very rich parents to send their children to private schools and the not-so-rich ones to send theirs to public schools. But is money the only important factor to consider?
Apart from the financial implication of sending your children to public or private schools, there are many other factors to consider before taking a decision. Even if you are rich and can afford to pay your children’s way through any private university in the world, you need to find out if private schools are the best for your children before taking that decision.
In the next few sections, we are going to be looking at many important factors to consider before deciding between public and private schools for your children. We shall do so as we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of public and private schools respectively.
Advantages of Public Schools
In this section, we intend to discuss the pros — benefits, advantages — of public schools. We want to answer the question, “Why public schools are better than private?” As you read through this, please be mindful of the fact that you situation as an individual is unique to you and it’s not every benefit or advantage mentioned that applies to your child(ren).
1. The cost of attending a public school is literary borne by the government. In most cases you don’t have to make any payment for your child to attend a public school while in other cases in some countries, you just have to pay a little and the government pays the rest.
2. Public schools are normally large with lots of spacious buildings and surrounding fields. The children here always have more options for academic classes and extra-curricular activities during and after-school. This cannot be obtained in most smaller private schools.
3. Public schools are neither religious nor cultural based. The children there stand a chance of being exposed to diverse cultures and ethnicity, thereby preparing them to be more understanding and tolerant citizens of the world.
4. All over the world, public schools are known to offer more accommodations and render more special services to children who need them. There are children who may need speech therapy, behavior therapy, and so on.
5. When compared to private schools, most public schools have better and more up-to-date facilities such as swimming pool, sports fields, arts theatres, music studios and so on.
6. Public schools are under the obligation by law to provide suitable education options that meet the needs of all students including those with disabilities and they are always better-equipped to handle children with special need.
Disadvantages of Public Schools
1. Public schools always face the challenge of overcrowding. This is normally because of rapid increase in the population size of the host communities without a corresponding expansion of the facilities which were initially built for fewer students in the school.
2. The large population size in public schools are normally distributed in very large classes. The implication of this is that individualized approach to teaching and learning is not obtainable. Children who need one-on-one attention may never get it.
3. Owing to the overcrowded nature of public schools, they face more discipline issues in some peculiar neighborhoods. The schools may not be able to really be in charge as the authorities can only do so much.
4. Quality of education is always a concern in public schools. Some may offer higher quality of education while others may offer lower quality of education even within the same community.
5. Since the students in public schools are not required to pay, the schools depend on the budgets which may greatly limit access to quality learning materials and resources.
6. Parents who send their children to attend public schools must to out of their way to be very proactive to get their children what they need to survive and thrive in the educational system, despite the fact that the schools are bound by law to provide individualized education.
7. Public schools with very large student population may face the challenge of providing the level of security required in today’s society.
Advantages of Private Schools
Like we have pointed out earlier, decision for private school education for your children should not be done with financial buoyancy as the only consideration. Even with all the money, private school system may not be right or optimal for some children for certain reasons.
So you need to take some time to look at the advantages and disadvantages of private schools, and how they individually apply to you.
1. The classes are smaller in size and less-overwhelming, giving room for more individualized approach to teaching and learning. In this case, the teacher can find and apply peculiar learning methods that work for each child.
2. The managers of private schools do their best to promote and market their brands. So they provide more challenging curriculum and try to inculcate in the students the competitive mindset. This tends to bring out the best in the students.
3. Religious parents who would love their children to be grounded in the ways of their religion find private schools appealing because some of them are religion-based and even offer classes in religion as part of the school curriculum.
4. Private schools have very huge price-tags which translates into better funding. With better funding, the school makes available to the students quality school supplies, materials, resources and equipment.
5. Private schools have greater oversight capacity and often take discipline seriously. They can go as far as suspending or out-rightly expelling students whose behaviors are not in conformity with the norms of the school.
6. Since most private schools have zero tolerance for bullying behaviors, most children feel welcome and at home, no matter their temperamental dispositions.
7. Because parents are paying directly for the children’s education and do whatever it takes to ensure that they gain value for their money, they tend to be more actively involved in what the school is doing.
8. Some very established and wealthy private schools have platforms via which they offer scholarships to high-flying students who distinguish themselves in one area or the other. The goal of the scholarship is to make education more affordable for them.
9. Because of their smaller size and better funding, private schools have a more robust security system which provides a safer learning environment.
Disadvantages of Private Schools
1. The cost of training a child through a private school is too high. And where a parent wish to train two or more of their children in private schools, it can negatively impact their finances.
2. Admission into private school is not guaranteed as the prospective student has to apply and be selected by the school.
3. Your child may be required to pass an entrance examination before they can be enrolled in a private school.
4. As religion-based schools, private schools may fix many religious subjects at the expense of secular class hours.
5. The student community of private schools are less diverse in terms of religious and cultural inclinations.
6. Private schools are not under any obligation to accept students with special needs.
7. For want of space, facilities and resources, students in smaller private schools are not likely to be offered maximum opportunities for sports and other extracurricular activities.
8. Because private schools are typically attended by the children of the rich from different parts of the city (state or country), your child may not have the opportunity to make local friends with children in your neighborhood.
9. Since the salaries of most private school teachers are low compared to what their counterparts in public schools are paid, teachers with very high qualification levels are always unwilling to work in private schools.
Our Final Verdict:
We have outlined and explained the important pros and cons of public and private schools. Whichever one you decide to choose for your child. ensure that it has all it takes to provide your child with the needed foundation for academic and career success. Be sure that the school does not joke or compromise when it comes to teachers qualification. Find out what the class sizes are like and determine if they are small enough to cater best to your child’s peculiar academic and personal weaknesses.
Do your best not to be biased for or against public schools or private schools. There are good public schools and good private schools in the same way that there are bad public schools and bad private schools. What really matters is choosing which is best for your child considering their peculiar needs and for the family considering your financial status and other factors. If you can do your research very well, you should a decision.
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