Event Date and time: Thursday 02 February 2017 | 13:00 – 14:00

Venue details: IAS Seminar Room 20, First Floor, Wilkins Building in the South wing

Organisers: Sussex Africa Centre

Event website: Exploring low-fee private schooling in developing countries

Event cost: Free

Speaker: Dr Joanna Härmä, Visiting Research Fellow, Centre for International Education

Private schools targeting the relatively poor has over the last decade become a hotly debated topic, with some proposing it as a way forward, while others attack the development on equity and human rights grounds. The phenomenon appears to be here to stay, having developed organically in several contexts in South Asia as well as Sub-Saharan Africa. In contexts of growing disillusionment with government education provision, to what extent has relatively low-fee private schooling developed in various places and who is accessing it? What are the implications of this development? Dr. Härmä will draw on her recent research on low-fee private schooling in Maputo, Abuja, Lagos, Lusaka, Kampala and Dar es Salaam, and will contrast these urban settings with findings from her past research in rural Uttar Pradesh, India, and Kwara State in Nigeria, to discuss the extent of developments on the ground and their implications for educational development.

About the speaker:

Joanna Härmä is an independent researcher and writer on low-fee private schooling for the poor in developing countries. She works for a wide range of clients including the UK’s development agency DFID, private development foundations, major international non-governmental organisations and human rights campaigning organisations. She has authored many academic journal articles, book chapters, working papers and reports on the topic of private schooling in developing countries. She completed her doctoral studies at the University of Sussex in 2008. Her thesis was entitled ‘are low-fee private primary schools in rural Uttar Pradesh, India, serving the needs of the poor?’ and was among the early studies to examine low-fee private schooling in an exclusively rural context.

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