Author(s): Sandefur, Justin
Organisation(s): Center for Global Development (USA)
Publisher(s): Center for Global Development (USA)
Pages: 149 p.
This report debates the case for specific public investments in education in low- and lower-middle-income countries, drawing on evidence of what has worked not just in small-scale experiments but historically and in large-scale national programs. Its messages are intended more for economic policymakers than educators, as they speak to what can be accomplished with fiscal instruments (money) and where trade-offs must be made. The core claim of this volume is that spending does matter, for both learning and other outcomes, and a lack of spending is the binding constraint to educational progress in many low- and lower-middle-income countries. We outline a list of shovel-ready investments in education, from abolishing user fees to extending the length of the school day, that have proven technically and politically feasible and have high returns. Of course, the fiscal realities of low- and lower-middle-income countries make some trade-offs unavoidable. The chapters that follow suggest, for instance, that money spent on school meals probably goes further than reducing class sizes. Ironically, it is exactly the kind of spending that the World Bank declared irrelevant - providing more schooling to more kids for more years - that has proven most successful at raising overall learning levels.
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