The ideal number of pupil-years required for a cohort to complete a level or cycle of education (e.g. the primary level) should there be no repetition nor drop-out, divided by the total number of pupil-years actually spent by the same cohort.

The third variable, the coefficient of efficiency, is obtained by dividing the number of pupil-years normally required to complete the primary cycle by the number of pupil-years actually spent. Thus, higher coefficients indicate greater efficiency, pupils spending on average less time to complete the primary education cycle. Although these data do not show the disparities between urban and rural areas, there appears to be a weak inverse correlation between the efficiency factors and the rurality of a country. In any case, the data do illustrate how pervasive the problem of primary schooling ‘wastage’ is, rural pupils typically spending far too much time in primary education (IIEP and FAO, 2003: 88).

IIEP and FAO. 2003. *Education for rural development: towards new policy responses*. Paris: UNESCO-IIEP.