IDENTIFYING THE FACTORS THAT PARENTS CONSIDER IN ORDER TO CHOOSE A PRIVATE SCHOOL OR GOVERNMENTAL SCHOOL IN JEDDAH CITY, SAUDI ARABIA
HANAN ELIAN ALSOWANEA
The research examined the factors which influence parents’ decisions when choosing between private or government schools for their children in Jeddah City, Saudi Arabia. The focus was given on identifying the elements that influence parents’ choice of schools varied based on parents’ age characteristics, education and socio-economic status. The study adopted a quantitative, descriptive research design to comprehend the views of parents on public and private schools in Saudi Arabia, particularly Jeddah city. Study respondents were recruited through random sampling technique across six schools; 3 private schools and 3 public schools. A total of 100 respondents were selected for the study and data was obtained from them using a survey design based on questionnaires. The collected data were analysed through statistical method. The results showed that academic factors have a major influence on parents choice of schools and they comprise high quality education, students’ performances, teachers’ efficiency and qualifications, and adoption of different techniques to teach students. Additionally, there are factors associated with the relationship between parents and schools, and they include voluntary membership to school committees and opportunities to get involved in school development activities. Regardless, school environments have a great bearing on school choice decisions made by parents, and factors considered in this regard comprise application of school rules and regulations, substance abuse prevention, safe and orderly learning environments, cheating, bullying and social status. From the analysis, it is recommended that schools should focus on creating a favourable learning environment as well as give priority to improving quality of the education.