Coefficient of efficiency


The coefficient of efficiency refers to the ideal (optimal) number of pupil-years required (i.e. in the absence of repetition and drop-out) to produce a number of graduates from a given pupil cohort in primary education, expressed as a percentage of the actual number of pupil-years spent to produce the same number of graduates. The coefficient of efficiency is a synthetic indicator of the internal efficiency of an education system (Lievesley and Sauvageot, 2000: 36).

Lievesley, Denise, and Claude Sauvageot. Education for All Year 2000 Assessment: statistical document. Paris: UNESCO, 2000.

example of use

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. Education for rural development: towards new policy responses. Paris: UNESCO-IIEP, 2003.

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