Table of Contents
The success of any given nation in terms of economic development squarely lies on the provision of quality education to its people. Every child who is eligible is entitled to quality education irrespective of his or her social economic status, religion, race and tribe, just to mention but a few. The government under the enactment of laws and policies relating to education is mandated with the obligation of providing a favourable environment for learning to take place through building of schools, employment of teachers, disbursement of finances as well as provision of other donations that aim at subsidizing tuition cost to all students. Unless such mechanisms are placed in position, many children would not have access to quality education especially those from humble background.
With the current stiff competition in the workforce, most parents are investing heavily on educating their children so as to empower them with suitable knowledge and skills that would enable them to remain effective in the job market. This dynamism in the education sector compels parents to enrol their children in private institutions which of late have been found to perform better than the public schools. Furthermore, the government through the enactment of laws and policies pertaining to education has made it possible for parents to take their children in any kind of school they do wish without any hindrance. Some years back, the government had a great control on the decision relating to where a child was going to be enrolled in.
The process of enrolment was confined on geographical regions in which a child came from. This meant that one was compelled to attend the local schools within the vicinity rather than having to move to another region. But today that has greatly changed in the sense that parents can take their children to any learning institution across the globe without any hindrance.
To reinforce this policy, the government has introduced school vouchers which is an educational programme mandated to provide financial assistance to parents with children in public and private schools. The main goal of this programme is to lower the tuition cost incurred by parents while educating their children (Hooker, 2009). It is in respect to the introduction of school vouchers that this paper would provide a critical analysis on to what extend has this programme influenced the academic performance in public schools as well as the way forward in addressing this issue.
In order to reinforce the above policy; we must address the following questions: a) are there initiatives for school reforms, b) Are school vouchers needed, c) Are school vouchers constitutional, d) is it true that the school vouchers work and does the private schools perform better that the government schools, finally, what are major controversies over both school vouchers and education tax credits.
In the recent past, private schools have been performing much better than public schools in national examinations. This has in turn motivated most parents especially from well to do families to enrol their children in such schools. Therefore, by launching school vouchers programme, the government intends to improve the level of education by providing a favourable ground where both public and private academic institutions would compete fairly in providing quality education. Public schools would improve their services in terms of education so as to attract more parents to enrol their children in them (Campanella, 2011). This in turn will increase the number of children being enrolled in public schools thus improving the level of education in these schools.
The programme would also help in providing equal chances to all students irrespective of their social background in the society. Many children from poor families who had wished to be enrolled in private schools will have a great opportunity to mingle and interact with their counterparties from effluent families. This in turn would decrease the education gap that has been in existence for many years between the public and private schools. On the other hand, a decrease in education gap will in turn help in bridging the economic gap which in recent past has increased between the poor and affluent people. Therefore, introduction of school vouchers in public schools will lead to cultural diversity which in turn would improve education.
There are distinctions between varied school choices i.e. private which are schools that operate in private sector through voluntary funding and public schools operating as part of government funded through involuntary taxation. School vouchers are school subsidies provided directly to parents for tuition at any school. Another thing is charter schools which are publicly funded and are partially exempt to DoE requirements among other things.
One of the indicators in this area is the potential of using institutional credit and other financial services to alleviate some of the quandaries within the education sector. This will address some of the factors which have immensely contributed to poor performance in public schools. Some of the indicators include: school performance chits, learning materials, and through yearly assessment of the program as this will determine whether the program is working or not. However, most of the public schools are financially unstable to enable them to be in a position to purchase learning materials as well as effectively meant their daily expenses (Stiglitz, 2000, pp. 56). However, with the adoption of school voucher programme, the level of education is going to improve tremendously as the government would provide financial assistance to purchase learning materials in public schools.
The system would also improve management of public schools for betterment of the education. Success of any schools mainly depends on management which on the other hand come along with availability of finance and resources. Since the government finances all expenses of the school, it means that there would be no wrangle among the administrators thus unleashing all their potential towards education.
Improvement of education in any nation depends on various aspects in the environment. One of the factors which are accorded credit to this progress is via socialization. It has been realized that children learn more when interacting with their peers other than when with their parents. In the process of interacting with people from various walks of life, they come to appreciate other people's ideas, opinions and cultural diversity. Being exposed to such an environment which is only found in public schools would help a child to improve his or her way of viewing things which in turn is reflected in academic performance. The diversity in culture would be of paramount importance in enhancing tolerance and harmony among the students thus minimizing cases of strikes and demonstrations which emerge as a result of tribalism in most private schools. This will in turn lower costs incurred in repairing damages after strikes.
Finally, the introduction of school vouchers is an issue that has raised a heated debate and varied reactions from many people in the last few decades. However, despite the reactions, the programme has more benefits than demerits in improving the education level in this great nation. It has also helped in providing equal chances to all children thus bridging the education gap between the poor and the rich along many more benefits. It has traded a path towards the realization of millennium goals and attainment of vision 2030.