News and Research 32

58ac545725000019600ba5c6Where to Invest the Marginal Dollar – The $5.6 Trillion Question  The returns to education are high in most countries. An additional year of schooling increases earnings by 10 percent a year (Montenegro and Patrinos 2013). At the same time, education is one of the most powerful instruments for reducing poverty and inequality, as well as for laying the basis for sustained growth. Many ideas on how to realize those returns have been put forward. The question is, however, how to finance it. It is estimated that global education expenditure was $4.6 trillion in 2013, rising to $5.6 trillion today, and forecast to reach $6.4 trillion by 2018. Public expenditure on education is significant; on average, countries spend about 5% of GDP on education, or 10-20% of public expenditures. Given the returns to education at different levels, where should one invest the marginal dollar?…[more]

All eyes on ALS, ‘centerpiece’ of basic ed under Duterte  The Alternative Learning System is a priority program under the Duterte administration. What is it all about? Ask any graduate of the education department’s Alternative Learning System (ALS) why they left formal school, and each would have a different story to tell…It is estimated that the current enrollment is “only 10% of the size of the potential target ALS learners.” A 2016 World Bank report on ALS said the realistic size of ALS target population should be around 5.4 million people…This is important because as the World Bank report shows, higher income is attained only when an ALS learner passes the A&E…But the World Bank, in its report, gave a fair warning about expanding ALS. “Given the magnitude of the ALS target youth (ranging between 5 and 6 million), an expansion of ALS programs is needed to offer a second chance to those who did not start school or failed to complete it. The study accepts that an expansion of the program may not be an ideal solution, since the expansion itself may distort incentives among students currently in school,” the report read. Authors of the report worry that students in formal school who are “at high risk of dropping out” might “see ALS as an easy path to a diploma.” “Therefore its expansion would have the unintended consequence of increasing the dropout rate. However, we believe that students who were deprived of basic education opportunities for any reason including conflicts and violence deserve a second chance and that ALS is their best hope for continuing and completing their schooling…

Providing quality education to one million students in Thailand’s small schools  The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s latest Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) results brought several pieces of alarming news for Thailand…

Liberia’s bold experiment in school reform  At a school in the township of West Point, Monrovia, a teacher should be halfway through her maths lesson. Instead she is eating lunch. A din echoes around the room of the government-run school as 70 pupils chat, fidget or sleep on their desks. Neither these pupils nor the rest of Liberia is learning much. Bad teaching, a lack of accountability and a meagre budget have led to awful schools. Fourteen years of civil war and, more recently, the Ebola virus have stymied reforms. Children’s prospects are shocking. More than one-third of second-grade pupils cannot read a word; since many are held back, teenagers often share classes with six year olds. In 2014 only 13 candidates out of 15,000 passed an entrance exam to the University of Liberia. In 2013 none did…

Human Capital Costs of Climate Change: Evidence from Test Scores in India We present the first estimates of the effect of temperature on cognitive performance in a developing country with limited propagation of air-conditioning, and find that an additional 10 days in a year above 29C relative to 15C-17C reduces math test scores by 0.03 standard deviations…

The World Inequality Database on Education

Lessons Learned from PISA: A Systematic Review of Peer-Reviewed Articles on the Programme for International Student Assessment International large-scale assessments are on the rise, with the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) seen by many as having strategic prominence in education policy debates. The present article reviews PISA-related English-language peer-reviewed articles from the programme’s first cycle in 2000 to its most current in 2015…

How to pretend you’re Canadian when you travel  Back in the summer of 1999, along with thousands of other Canadian twenty-somethings, I set out on a post-collegiate backpacking trip through Europe…


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