A lot of opinions have ensued between two debating camps when trying to compare between private and public schools. We will tackle the debate after taking a closer look at each of these concepts.

How to select the right high school for your child

Selecting a high school for your child can truly be a difficult task, because there are so many schools to choose from. Many of them are either technology or arts-focused. Let us narrow down our arguments by highlighting the benefits of both private and public school systems.

Benefits of Private schools

  • Improved parental involvement in the academic training of the child both within the school community and at home.
  • Children are placed on one-on-one coaching sessions with other students of the same peer groups, and this has considerably improved their academic achievements and/ or performance.
  • Most private high schools have built solid reputation in the academic world; in fact, a good number of them are boasting that their high school graduates study their preferred course of study at Ivy-league universities or their preferred university around the world.
  • Most private schools take pleasure in providing a wide range of educational options such as: advanced placements, faith-based programs – (Jewish, Christian, Muslim, etc), as well as special needs schools.
  • Powerful or inspiring special programs or extracurricular activities for example, music, clubs, arts, sports etc.
  • Skilled, professional, innovative and dedicated teachers with years of reputable experiences. Many of these teachers got their degrees from world acclaimed universities or tertiary institutions.
  • Less bullying issues and increased supervision of student activities by the school authorities.
  • Private schools don’t have more bureaucracy than public schools; parents can monitor their child’s behaviour or performance, while the teacher can implement necessary disciplinary measures in the school. This is necessary, because the school is where the child’s mind and character are formed. The sole duty of the teacher is to inspire the child to greater heights.
  • Most children may lack the opportunity to express their leadership roles or get noticed, especially if they are in public schools where the numbers of high school students are multiple.
  • The child may not receive the required academic support and needed attention from teachers in crowded classrooms in public schools.
  • According to various sources in the educational sector, a lot of private schools in Canada exceed the recommended provincial educational standards and lots more.

Benefits of Public schools

  • It’s cost effective to send your child to a public school. It is exclusively free.
  • Very few public schools provide specialized programs or courses to their students such as arts, Mathematics, science and special needs education.
  • Usually, in most public schools, the prospective student is not subjected to undergo rigorous entrance examination and subsequent interviews before they are allowed to attend the school. Because of this, the student may be exposed to different kinds of people outside his or her cultural milieu.
  • Most teachers in public schools have bachelor’s degrees plus state, federal and provincial certification.
  • Public schools are under the sole supervision of local school boards and provincial governments, but in private schools parents and school proprietors can exercise authority on the type of activities or programs they would like their children or wards to go through in the schools.
  • Few public schools have state-of-the-art equipment and resources for their high school students.
  • Most private schools are more selective than public schools in all ramifications.
  • The cost of managing a private school is high, and lies on the shoulders of the direct owners or proprietors. Because of this, most parents cannot afford to send their children to private schools, due to their exorbitant school fees.

In this case, those who say that private schools are exclusively for the super rich might be right.

Which one is better?

Every parent no doubt wants to give their children the best education available at the time, but some are not able to do this effectively due to their current income constraints. We shall continue in this argument by expanding, comparing and contrasting some of the benefits listed above and by looking at certain factors as well:

Tuition and taxes

It is the exclusive duty of every income earner to pay taxes. So, if even if you send your children to private schools, you are still funding the public school system. Some might ask why one should pay for both, instead of paying for one.

The truth is that in most provinces around the world, parents can get tax breaks when they send their kids to private schools. It is also important to note that this tax can be accessed in many ways, depending on the province or state you are in.

In most private schools for example, when you have three kids in one school, you will pay for two, while the other one study for free or at a minimal rate. This is an incentive some private schools give to parents for sending their kids to their schools.

Furthermore, most religious private schools such as catholic, Christian, Jewish and Muslim offers invaluable education training to the high school students. Parents feel the impact more when their children are in such school system.

The cost of private schools in most provinces or state ranges from $15,000 to $50,000. While, it is exclusively free to send your child to a public school. So, do you think it is profitable to send your child to private school where there are more possibilities of accessing more knowledge- creation and opportunities than in public schools, where the child may have to struggle to be recognized?

Do you think that you can get value for what you are paying for in private schools, than in public schools where the education is offered totally free?

Admittance rate

Private schools can expel students that go against their stipulated rules and regulations, and can decide not to admit certain students into their folds; in fact, it is not easy to be admitted into most private schools.

In most of these schools, admission is based on merit- the child must meet certain criteria, while any one can get into public schools regardless of their academic capabilities, creed, gender or orientation.

Student population

In most public schools, the child will be attending the school with children from the same geographical setting. While in most private schools, parents can choose a school to send their children based on their philosophical beliefs, religious, cultural or discipline.

Most private schools are not overpopulated like public schools, and still they can comfortably expel or exclude anyone that doesn’t comply with their school’s policies or stipulated standards.

Class size

One of the strong arguments parents have for sending their children to private schools is due to the overcrowding of public schools. It is obvious that children will get more attention, and also learn more when they are placed in a smaller classroom size, and this is usually available in private schools.

School governance and/ or interference

Private schools don’t use public funds. Thus, they aren’t restricted in their program curricular or development unlike public schools. This freedom gives private schools the competence to develop their curricular at their pace.

They develop their curricula insofar as parents agree with the religious, philosophical or intellectual beliefs brought into the curricula. In fact, most Canadian private schools are exceedingly happy that they are free from any form of ‘government interference’ in their academic pursuits over public schools.

In public schools, teachers are compelled to use the curricula designed for all students. This is not the ideal, because most students may find it extremely difficult to learn in certain environments.

Teachers’ qualifications

Every teacher in public school is expected to have a bachelor’s degree together with some form of state, federal or provincial certification. But, in most prestigious private schools, especially the ones that have boarding facilities, you are more likely going to see teachers that are more qualified. Most of these teachers are widely-read, with advanced teaching skills.

Evaluation and conclusion

Comparing private and public school system is a very good thing, but not as complicated as some people think. Before you choose the right school for your kid, whether the school is language-based, catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Montessori, boarding etc, the number one thing you should look at is its ‘benefit’ to your child.

How will your child and family benefit if you send your child to a particular private school? Also, your current budget and earning can help you in your consideration. In the final analysis, if you decide to go for a private school option, here are few things you need to know:

  • Whether your child attends public school or not, you must pay for their education taxes. Although, some provinces provides ‘tax breaks’ for those whose children are going to private schools.
  • You can send your kid to your preferred private school, especially the one that perfectly suits your religious, cultural or philosophical beliefs.
  • If you have concerns about class sizes or standards of education offered in public schools, then sending your child to private schools is the real deal. Private schools can control the number of people they admit into their folds- they will do this by subjecting them into a rigorous admission testing. They can also expel or suspend students that do not meet their academic standards. Most parents are unhappy sending their children to public schools, because in public schools, children are exposed to a wide range of demographic socioeconomically, academically and culturally.
  • Teachers in most prestigious private schools are much more exposed and qualified to teach than the ones in public schools. Most teachers in private schools are specialists in their own fields or subject areas.
  • We will not discredit public schools in totality, because both private and public schools strive to create the best learning environment for their students. While we state without any fear of contradiction that there are good public schools, we take pride to say that most of the overall best schools in Canada are privately funded.
  • A recent study by Harvard University states that students in private schools perform better than their counterparts in public schools, especially when they are exposed in standardized tests.
  • Before you make your decision, you need to take time to know the best option for your child. You can do this by visiting the schools or browsing through their websites, viewing their programs of study, teacher’s skills and competencies, talk to the administrators and lots more. Your child deserves to receive education that suits their values, learning styles, needs and current time.
  • Make sure that the school you are finally sending the child emphasize strong teaching skills; learning environment coupled with extracurricular activities, and smaller class size. The aim of sending your child to school is defeated, if the school fails to bring out the child’s unique personal strengths and academic abilities.
  • At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you send your child to school that suits them and the entire family. When you are done with your research, send your child to the school, and relax. If it turns out that you made a wrong decision, then there is absolutely nothing to worry about, because there are lots of schools you can still choose from.
  • For parents that have made up their minds to send their kids to private schools, they should do so happily, because there are so many benefits to gain from it such as enriched academic opportunities, smaller class sizes, dedicated teachers, strong extracurricular activities, safe learning environment, better preparation for high institution and future challenges.
  • Based on the above comparisons, we can proudly say that it is safer and better to send your children to private schools if you can afford it. If you can’t afford, then take time to scrutinize the available public schools, and send your children to the ones that have better learning facilities and qualified teachers than others.

Did you learn anything from this article? Please share your thoughts with us in the comment box below!