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What Is a Private Sector Education?

Private schools often require that students wear uniforms.
Private sector education takes place within a private school or academy.
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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2014
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A private sector education is a form of learning that takes place within a private school or academy, rather than at a public school. Private schools are those institutions of learning not funded by a local, provincial, or federal government agency and instead are funded through other means. This is in contrast to public schools that are established and run on money provided by a government office. A private sector education has a number of advantages and disadvantages, and there has been some controversy surrounding this type of education in some areas.

Students can receive a private sector education through a number of different schools and at various educational levels, depending on the country and area in which they attend school. Private elementary and secondary level schools are often religious or parochial schools that instruct students in many of the same subjects as public school, but also include an education regarding a particular religion. This type of private sector education may be desired by parents of a student who also follow that religion.

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A private sector education can be quite expensive, and without government funding, the parents of students at these schools must find a way to pay for tuition. This can often be paid directly by the parents, though other means of payment can also be secured. These means include scholarships to attend a school, which are often based on particular skills a student has, such as an athletic scholarship for a gifted basketball player. The high cost means many students are not able to receive this type of education due to inadequate funds.

This has led to some controversy regarding private sector education in comparison to public education that any student can receive. While private schools do not necessarily have to follow governmental regulations on curriculum, most such schools surpass these standards. Criticism of private schools is often based on the idea that students at these schools may have an unfair advantage over students at public schools, which may conflict with the laws of certain countries regarding the rights of students to receive an equal education. Private sector education has been defended, however, since it is merely an alternative to an established and often sufficient public education.

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