In India, private schools offer poor children an escape

11/17/2003 | NYTimes.com

Poor parents view India's tens of thousands of private schools as the only way for their children to surmount caste and class barriers. Although free and compulsory education up to age 14 is mandated by law, the country has neglected its public schools, where children sit on dirt floors and well-paid teachers are absent for weeks at a time.

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