Participation via collective action in basic education in government and NGO schools in Pakistan

Parent teacher associations or school management committees (PTAs/SMCs) are an important way of realising participation via collective action to improve schooling. Field visits, a literature search and a small sample survey are the three sources used to explore the status of SMCs/PTAs that have been established by provincial governments and NGOs in Pakistan. The main finding is that public sector reform, to alter the power relation between parents, teachers, and government officials, are needed to make participation effective in schooling. In general, NGO schools performed only marginally better than government schools in engendering participation.