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The importance of Public-Private Partnership (PPP)

By Ampersand Group

One of the biggest economies in the world with the quickest rate of growth is India1. This rate of growth constantly needs additions and upgrades to the nation's economic and physical infrastructure. However, the government’s resource availability for investments in public goods creation can be limited.

As a result, private companies often collaborate with central and state governments to build the infrastructure needed to meet the country's expanding needs. This partnership is referred to as a Public-Private Partnership or PPP.  Through the PPP model, a government can deliver quality services to its citizens with the support and expertise of the private sector.

What is PPP in school education?

Several governments across the world use the PPP model to provide the public with infrastructure or services for their benefit. In the education industry in India, PPP refers to the collaboration between government entities and private sector organizations to achieve common educational goals. This approach leverages the strengths and resources of both sectors to improve the quality, accessibility, and efficiency of education in India.

A variety of PPP models exist in the education industry and one of the most known models is the government-aided school system. In the last decade, India’s central and state governments have identified the potential and significance of PPPs in education.

What are the benefits of PPP?

With an aim to benefit communities and society at large, PPPs in education can act as a crucial factor. Here are some of the objectives:

1. Accessibility

A Public-Private Partnership results in granting more people access to education, particularly in rural areas of India. In several cities and towns in India, the dropout rate in secondary schools is often high. While the government has taken measures to tackle this, a PPP can support in increasing the enrolment ratio by incorporating industrial training workshops, skill development sessions and vocational training programmes.

2. Bridging the infra gap

The bridge between quality and infrastructure for schools is met by PPP. By making use of underutilised school infrastructure across India, particularly in major metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune, and Ahmedabad, PPPs can bridge the gap in physical and quality infrastructure. A partnership can also guarantee the best possible use of public resources and expedite the development of new infrastructure, hence bridging this gap.

3. Innovation

The expertise of the private sector in a partnership plays a crucial role as participation from the private sector enriches education with new insights, creative teaching strategies, and technological integration. Schools and colleges can gain from the private sector's experience in pedagogy, instructional design, teacher training, and curriculum development through PPPs.

4. Enhanced efficiency

With the entry of the private sector for operations and management of government schools, the delivery of education significantly improves as teacher training, classroom infrastructure and planned academic timelines are met.

Ampersand Group - PPP in school education

What are the types of PPP in school education?

In the education industry, a Public-Private Partnership can be implemented in different types. Majorly, there are three models of PPP in school education. It can operate to either provide infrastructure services, support services or education services.

1. Infrastructure Service

In this offering, the private sector partner builds and owns school infrastructure. Under this arrangement, the government uses these infrastructure facilities by entering into a long-term lease.

2. Support Service

Under this model, the government pays the private sector to provide a variety of support services, such as school lunches, IT resources, labs, gyms, and transportation. These support services can be supplied independently or combined with the building infrastructure. This is beneficial since the private partner with the knowledge of specific key areas will be able to deliver these services efficiently.

3. Education Service

In this arrangement, the private partner establishes and oversees the entire school. This covers the building of the school as well as the supply of educational and support services. The hiring of staff members and teachers is one of the many management responsibilities fully under the private partner's purview. The government provides financial support to the school in exchange for students meeting specific performance standards. These standards may include student and teacher attendance, teacher qualifications, the availability and upkeep of pre-established school facilities and services, student achievement in learning outcomes, and exam results.

Apart from these three models, private partners can also be on-boarded for end-to-end operations and management or to run voucher programmes.

What are the challenges of PPP?

1. Consistency

Ensuring consistent quality across different PPP models and partners is important. If SOPs are not followed, this can prove to be a huge challenge to the private sector partner.

2. Accountability and Transparency

For a project to run smoothly, ensuring transparency and accountability in operations and financial dealings is crucial.

3. Sustainability

It is important to maintain the long-term sustainability of projects after the private partner exits. Along with sustainability, maintaining quality is also of utmost importance.

Ampersand Group and PPP

The Ampersand Group’s expertise lies in the Public-Private Partnership space. Over the years, we worked on several projects in the education sector and have become the government’s preferred implementation partner.

One such project is the end-to-end operations and management of Creches, Balwadis and Anganwadis in Mumbai. Partnering with the BMC, Ampersand Group is running operations for as many as 575 Balwadis in the city. Under several programmes, Ampersand Group has provided education, services and infrastructure support.

Ampersand Group - Benefits of PPP

Conclusion

Overall, PPPs guarantee the best possible use of public resources and expedite the development of new infrastructure, hence enhancing accessibility to well-equipped schools. It also results in better learning experiences, higher-quality instruction, and improved academic performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the common models of PPP in the education sector?

In education, there are majorly four models of PPP. These are infrastructure provision, management contracts, service delivery models and resource-sharing models.

2. What are the main benefits of PPP?

Consistent quality, enhanced infrastructure and resource optimization are some of the main benefits of PPP.

3. What challenges do PPPs face in the education sector in India?

Consistency, accountability and transparency are some of the challenges that might have to be dealt with.

Reference

1. India's fast economic growth lays firm ground for next government.

The importance of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) | Ampersand Group
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