private vs public schools

Most of our primary and nursery school MKKs are in public schools. When they are taken in by their relatives, they usually end up living in the family's country home. They walk to the nearest school every day. This means public is their only option. (However, we do have a few who live in the city and go to private school at local churches.)

Some of our high schoolers are in public high schools, but many are in private schools. The majority are also in boarding schools. For orphans who are being raised by extended family, boarding school is a great option.  As long as we keep their bills paid, we know they are being well fed and have plenty of time to study.

Private schools have smaller class sizes, but they are more expensive. Sponsorship for one of our public high school students is about $20/month compared to $50-75/month for our private school students. Whether public or private, all schools serve lunch and tea (at 10 am and sometimes 3 pm), and boarding schools serve 3 meals/day, plus tea.

[from demotix - click for more pictures of the strike]
There is one other difference which affects the students most of all. Public school teachers are paid by the government, and they are not satisfied with their salaries. Also, the aforementioned class size is a matter of contention. With the advent of "free" public education (which we've established isn't entirely free), many, many, many more kids have been able to go to school.

Since we started sponsoring kids 11 months ago, the teachers have gone on strike twice. The first strike lasted over 3 weeks. Today is the second day of the current strike. When the teachers strike, there is no class. The kids miss days and weeks of teaching. A strike hurts no one more than the public school children.

We would love to put all of our MKKs in private school. However, it is not feasible for the primary school kids who have no private school within walking distance. For kids already in high school, it is difficult for them to transfer, especially once they are in form 3, as they have already begun preparing and registering for the national exam they will take at the end of high school.

What we are discussing is leaving our kids in their current schools, but as our primary school kids reach high school, sending them to one private school. We have connections with a Christian private high school. We are planning to make arrangements to send all of our high school MKKs there in the future. It will be more expensive, but we will be giving them the best we can.