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Why I pay a fortune for private school education

Jan 18 2017 18:45

Cape Town - A Fin24 user shares his opinion on why he is prepared to pay very expensive private school fees for his three children.

Fin24 recently reported on the high costs of education at SA's top boarding schools. Most fees at these schools are more than R200 000 per child for 2017 and usually includes full boarding.

Education experts also gave Fin24 their opinions on whether such an expensive private education is worth it or not. One expert cautioned that private education does not guarantee a good education, while most others pointed out that the value of private schools lie in the excellent facilities and other options offered.

A Fin24 user now joins the debate, but wants to remain anonymous. He writes:

Firstly, I understand fees at private schools are about three times higher than at state schools. However, I do not think private school education is three times better than at state schools.

Yes, classes are smaller and the standard is high at private schools. That is partly due to learners mostly coming from homes where education is seen as a priority and children are encouraged to achieve.

The private school also manages to enable learners to reach their highest potential, because they are the "product" of the school. Could one say this is just a function of the free market system?

I also think private schools are more flexible. Parents have a bigger input in the management of the school and teachers are more open to input from their "consumers".

READ: Get ready to pay R250k for your child's 2017 school year - if you can

Additional resources

There are excellent additional resources - both for children who are battling as well as for those with exceptional talents. It once again comes down to the school having a "commercial interest" in having its learners do well.

Private schools are able to freely choose who is admitted and competition for admission is fierce. But that also means the school must ensure that it constantly remains ahead of the pack in order to satisfy its "consumers" by providing the best education methods, resources and more.

Lastly, I think people realise the value of a good education. I am astounded by the growth in the market for "cheaper" private schools. There are many, which are not much more expensive - or even costing the same - as state schools.

READ: Private schools: Price tag does not determine good education - expert

People send their children to these cheaper private schools, because those schools ensure a better outcome for their children than state schools.

Education is your child's passport to the future. In our case it was a simple choice about which the best schools are in our city - given that it is a haphazard and debatable choice. We then sent our children to these schools, although they were rather more expensive than they really should be.

"Rather safe than sorry", we thought and we have never regretted our decision. It was worth the money spent for sure. Isn't it an investment in your children?

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education  |  myfin24  |  private schools

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