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 EDUCATION Education Today Newsletter
April - June 2003
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EDUCATION: WHO PAYS?
Investing in education can be very profitable for individuals and societies. But who pays the bill? Focus, a four-page report, explores how countries rich and poor are increasingly looking to the private sector, parents and NGOs to share the burden.
Education--who-pays.gifEdito - There is a correlation between education and economic growth but a correlation is not a cause-and-effect relationship. Does economic growth lead to greater investment in education or does more and better education stimulate economic growth? Itís probably a bit of both, although the examples of countries like Germany, Japan and the Republic of Korea, in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries respectively, suggest that an educated population is a springboard for jumping to high economic performance.

The correlation between good education and a growing economy throws up several questions. How do you explain those cases where states outperform their neighbours educationally but not economically? Part of the explanation may be that economic growth is a blunt instrument for measuring a societyís success. More subtle and comprehensive measures, such as UNDPís Human Development Index, may indeed show that the overall quality of life is higher in better-educated communities. However, another part of the explanation must be that some states have done better than others at creating the economic and political frameworks that allow educated people to work productively for their own and the common good.

There is a more difficult question. If education is good for the economy, why have so many countries not yet achieved Education for All? Most governments claim that their aim is to deliver economic growth, yet many have singularly failed to use the tool of education in its support. Is it the absence of the freedom and democracy that prevents the people from voicing their demand for education? Is it because maintaining educational and economic inequality actually suits the ruling elite? Political leaders have become adept at articulating the rhetoric about the importance of education, but are less inclined to acknowledge that importance at budget time.

Yet there is no avoiding the stateís role in funding basic education. The World Bank flirted with the idea of fee-paying education but now holds firmly that universal primary education will not be achieved unless it is both compulsory and free. Achieving that will require some states to economize on their spending at other levels, such as in higher education, where research shows that free tuition for all students actually tends to reinforce existing elite power structures.


John Daniel
Assistant Director-General for Education

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:: 2005
 

WANTED! TEACHERS
January - March 2005
:: 2004
 

SCIENCE EDUCATION IN DANGER?
October - December 2004
THE PRICE OF SCHOOL FEES
July - September 2004
EDUCATING RURAL PEOPLE
April - June 2004
EDUCATION MINISTERS SPEAK OUT
January - March 2004
:: 2003
 

NEW TECHNOLOGIES: MIRAGE OR MIRACLE?
October - December 2003
THE MOTHER-TONGUE DILEMMA
July - September 2003
EDUCATION: WHO PAYS?
April - June 2003
EDUCATING TEENAGERS
January - March 2003
:: 2002
 

HIGHER EDUCATION FOR SALE
October - December 2002

LITERACY? YES. BUT WHEN?
July - September 2002

EDUCATION FOR WAR OR FOR PEACE?
April - June 2002

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