There is limited evidence on the shifting pattern of the children from one school to the other and how the socioeconomic status of the households impacts such decisions in India. Using a nationally representative household survey data, we examine the socioeconomic dynamics of school shifting for the children who are studying below class-10 level in India, separately for rural and urban areas. Contrary to the general perception that there is an exit of students from government schools to private schools, the findings suggest that some shift is happening between and across different types of schools in their schooling years. This implies that some children are also shifting from private schools to government schools as well as between same type of schools, i.e. government to government or private to private. Interestingly, the shifting pattern of schools varies significantly by household and child-specific characteristics in both rural and urban India. For instance, in rural India, parents are less likely to shift a male child from one type of school as compared to a female child. Girl children are more likely to shift from government to private schools in the urban, whereas in the rural, this trend is not visible. This study first attempts to find the reasons behind the school shifting tendency of students and then, makes an initial foray in examining the socioeconomic contours of school shifting in India, a relatively underexplored research area, in both academic and policy spaces.
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Availability of data and material
This study is based on a national survey conducted by National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) from July 2017 to June 2018, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India. The data are publicly available at: https://www.mospi.gov.in/web/mospi/download-tables-data/-/reports/view/templateTwo/16203?q=TBDCAT (accessed 25 April 2020).
The study uses frequency weights in the descriptive table as well as in the multinomial logit model shown in the next section. The frequency weight indicates how much does a single line represent observations for multiple people.
National Sample Survey data does not collect school-related information such as school infrastructure, pupil-teacher ratio, affiliation of schools, the number of government and private schools in a specific geographical unit etc. (considered as supply side factors).
We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for the comments.
The more differentiated nature of the private schooling market in the urban can be gauged from the difference in the range of private schools’ course fee in the rural and the urban from NSSO data.
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Mitra, C., Sengupta, I. & Choudhury, P.K. An analysis of school shifting patterns in India: what do recent data tell us?. J. Soc. Econ. Dev. 24, 295–318 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40847-022-00192-2