Home Institution

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Publication Date

Fall 2012

Program Name

Nepal: Development and Social Change


Over the last two decades, the ‘de facto’ privatization of educational services has emerged as a significant policy trend in Nepal’s educational sector; however, unlike earlier decades when private schools catered exclusively to the privileged classes, the expansion of low-cost ‘budget’ private institutions have begun to serve lower socioeconomic and marginalized classes of the population. This project examines parental perceptions and decisional contexts surrounding the choice of private school for children f the working poor in Kathmandu. Specifically, the study uses the lens of class to explore the rationale, anxieties, and aspirations of working poor parents as they navigate the expanding private school market in Nepal’s metropole. I seek to identify what factors shape working-poor parents’ decisions to choose low-ranked tuition-based private schools over government-run alternatives and to what degree concerns and aspirations about class mobility, as well as the extent discourses of ‘choice’ are relevant to these decisions.


Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Sociology | Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | International and Comparative Education | Social and Cultural Anthropology


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