The Urban and Rural Fellowship School Experiments in Pakistan: Design, Evaluation, and Sustainability.Report as inadecuate

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The province of Balochistan has the worst educational attainment in Pakistan, which has low educational attainment compared to countries with similar income levels. In light of several factors constraining the Balochistan government's ability to expand school supply in poor areas, private schools were thought to offer potential benefits for increasing enrollment. Two pilot "fellowship" projects were undertaken in 1994: a voucher system for girls from poor families in Quetta, the capital city of Balochistan, and a similar voucher system for girls in rural villages. The subsidies were short-term, and the schools used various financial strategies to become self-sustainable. The projects had success in urban areas and relative failure in rural areas. Between 1994 and 1996, enrollment of girls in urban fellowship neighborhoods increased 26 percent, while enrollment of boys (who were not subsidized) rose 20 percent. Enrollments continued to rise after subsidies ended in 1997. In addition, the program was replicated in other neighborhoods and cities. Rural fellowship schools, however, were unsustainable, and only one appeared likely to survive. Factors contributing to the relative success of the urban schools were higher demand for girls' schooling in urban areas, greater ability of urban parents to pay, the presence of more children in urban neighborhoods, greater availability of experienced school operators and good teachers in urban areas, and higher government subsidies for urban schools. (SV)

Descriptors: Educational Vouchers, Enrollment, Foreign Countries, Institutional Survival, Pilot Projects, Poverty, Private Schools, Rural Schools, Rural Urban Differences, Urban Schools, Womens Education

Author: Orazem, Peter F.


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