Educational wastage


Effects of the associated problems of repetition and dropping out.

UNESCO Thesaurus

example of use

Indeed, whether we are considering education as a social or a private investment, allowance must  be  made  for  the  fact  that  some  students  do  not  complete  a course while  others  repeat  parts  of  the  course  in  order  to  gain  a qualification. Ideally, separate cost-benefit calculations should be made for  dropouts,  repeaters  and  those who  complete  a  course  in  the minimum time. For despite the implications of the word ‘wastage’, it is likely that even an uncompleted course may yield some economic benefits that must be compared with the costs of one or two years’ education.  In  fact,  most  countries  do  not  have  data  that  permit measurement of the benefits associated with part of a course. As a result, the simplest solution is to calculate the average length of courses,allowing for dropouts and repeaters, and to use this as the basis for the calculation of total costs rather than the minimum or ‘normal’ length of courses. This will give the total cost that must be borne by society in order to produce a qualified student, or the average cost to the  individual  after  allowance  for  average  rates  of  repetition  and wastage (Woodhall, 2004: 33-34).

Woodhall, M. 2004. Cost-benefit analysis in educational planning. Fundamentals of Educational Planning 80. Paris: UNESCO-IIEP.


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