To be achievable, the priorities and strategic policies must take into account demographic and economic realities. Making projections concerning education and using an [INESM]simulation model will keep decision-makers informed about the feasibility of the objectives set by policies, in the form of scenarios showing overall costs, national budgets, available external financing and related financing deficits. Development of a budgeted action plan determines the detailed costs from quantitative needs and human resource needs (see “action plan” section).
Prepare a simulation model
Simulation model basic parameters include demographic projections, educational parameters (school enrolment rate, student flows, class sizes, number of teachers per class, student/manual ratio, etc.) budgetary parameters (unit costs, average salaries, etc.) as well as economic development indicators (economic growth, percentage of the public budget and GDP allocated to education, etc.) Most of this information will be used for setting strategies for learning improvement.
Use of a simulation model allows automatic calculations and ensures consistency of projections. Estimation of costs at regular intervals and budgetary compromises will come out of the simulation of various scenarios and related policy choices, which will lead to rethinking and adapting the programmes and policy objectives until the best scenario and corresponding input are set by consensus of the various stakeholders.
The availability of resources suitable for improving learning must be evaluated carefully while estimating the plan costs. Financing deficits are obtained bydetermining the difference between the plan’s forecast cost and the projections of national and external resources available for learning. Therefore, certain policy objectives should be prioritized in order to consider more affordable revised strategies, depending on the difference determined. At the same time, a meticulous examination of unit costs linked to improving learning and information sharing of best practices may allow a reduction of overall costs.
A credible reference scenario and financing plan for the activities intended to improve learning must reflect the conclusions of a collaborative process between the government (different departments of the Education andFinance Ministries), development partners and local stakeholders.