Education Notes

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Education Notes is a series produced by the World Bank to share lessons learned from innovative approaches to improving education practice and policy around the globe. Background work for this piece was done in partnership, with support from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).

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    School Fees : A Roadblock to Education For All
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2004-08) Bentaouet Kattan, Raja ; Burnett, Nicholas
    There is increasing momentum on the road to Education for All (EFA), but school fees are still a roadblock for too many children. Several African countries have recently abolished school fees outright. The dramatic surge in enrollments that followed, is strong evidence that the payment of fees can be a major obstacle to enrollment. The note examines the prevalence of fees, and their impact worldwide, and draws lessons involved in attempts to eliminate user fees, and to provide alternate sources of financing. Some important lessons are being learned from these efforts, namely, that fees cannot be abolished without consideration of whether, and how, they should be replaced by an alternative source of income. Replacement revenues can be provided by simply increasing expenditures on education, by improving the efficiency of education spending, or by use of debt relief funds to close the financing gap.