Public-Private Partnerships in South African Education: Risky Business or Good Governance?

Keywords: public-private partnerships; Collaboration Schools Pilot Project; public good; education policy; school governance and management

Abstract

This article discusses the globalised phenomenon of public-private partnerships, which involve the private and public sector collaborating to provide infrastructure and service delivery to public institutions. Within the education sector, the most commonly known public-private partnerships exist in the United States as charter schools and the United Kingdom as academies. Discussing this phenomenon in the South African context, this article draws on the Collaboration Schools Pilot Project as an example for understanding how the involvement of private partnerships within public schooling is being conceptualised by the Western Cape Education Department. Framed within the debate of public-private partnerships for the public good, the article provides a critical discussion on how these partnerships are enacted as a decentralisation of state involvement in the provision of public schooling by government. The article concludes by noting that the Collaboration Schools Pilot Project, which involves significant changes in policy regarding how schools are governed and managed, requires more rigorous and critical dialogue by all stakeholders as the model unfolds in schools in the Western Cape. 

Author Biography

Jennifer Ann Feldman, Stellenbosch University

Associate Researcher, Education Policy Studies, Stellenbosch University

Published
2020-08-13
Section
Articles