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Title: A comparative study of private and public schools serving low-income parents in Kuwait
Authors: Alshatti, Hadel Yaja
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The aim of this study is to examine the phenomenon of low-income Kuwaiti parents changing their orientation from government schools to private Pakistani low-cost schools. In order to arrive at a logical explanation for the phenomenon, the motivational factors affecting parents and their level of satisfaction, as well as the quality of the schools, were investigated through a comparative case study conducted in the Kindergarten and primary levels of schools in each sector. The quality of the schools was measured with regard to their policies, teacher absenteeism and attendance, curriculum, and school buildings and facilities. A mixed methods approach using qualitative and quantitative instruments was adopted to elicit data from 18 government schools (from the six local authorities) and 13 private Pakistani schools in Kuwait. The quantitative instrument was structured questionnaires administered to parents (384 from the government schools and 489 from the private Pakistani schools), while the qualitative data were obtained from semi-structured interviews with the school managers (13 private Pakistani schools and 18 government schools) and the manager of the inspectorate of private schools; the schools’ observation (checklist), and archive records and documents (obtained from the Ministry of Education and the schools). The findings of the case study revealed that the low-cost private Pakistani schools were out–performing the government schools in various aspects related to these schools’ educational services, which were making them a more satisfactory option for some lowincome Kuwaiti parents and motivating them to travel longer distances daily to reach the private Pakistani schools, even though government schools were available within the zones where they lived. The study found that the Kuwaiti parents were motivated to turn to the private Pakistani schools mainly because they provided English as the schools’ medium of instruction, in addition to having Islam as the schools’ main religion. At the same time, all these facilities were being provided for low-cost affordable tuition fees.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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