08 October 2014

Parental Choices in Tajikistan's School Market

A recently published special issue of "European Education" examines the emergence of various forms of education privatization in the former socialist countries. In "Parental choices in the primary and secondary school market in Dushanbe, Tajikistan," Chris Whitsel explores the factors motivating parents in Tajikistan to choose schools for their children in an educational landscape that includes elite public and private schools, low-fee private schools, and neighborhood public schools. Watch a short interview with Chris Whitsel discussing his study!

If this piqued your interest and you would like to read the entire paper or any other content from our journal, you can find out more about subscriptions at this page. See the abstract of the article for more information:

This paper presents findings about factors parents consider when choosing schools in the new educational market in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The eco- nomic and political chaos of the early independence period led to greater dif- ferentiation between public schools. Policies were enacted that encouraged the growth of private schools and fee-charging specialized public schools (lyceums and gymnasiums). In this paper, I first outline some of the causes for the growth of diversity among schools. I then present results about the factors that parents in Dushanbe weigh when deciding among schools. I find that parents utilize a complex matrix of factors—school location, child aptitude, child’s gender, and school quality—in making their decisions. Sur- prisingly, cost is not at the forefront of the decision matrix as most parents make choices that are comfortably in their range of affordability. 

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