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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Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • Publication
    In Their Own Language : Education for All
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2005-06) Bender, Penelope; Dutcher, Nadine; Klaus, David; Shore, Jane; Tesar, Charlie
    Fifty percent of the world's out-of-school children live in communities where the language of schooling is rarely, if ever, used at home. This paper discusses the benefits of use of first language instruction. The results of benefits from first language instruction discussed are: increased access and equity; improved learning outcomes; reduced repetition and dropout rates; socio-cultural benefits and lower overall costs. The paper outlines why many countries have been reluctant to deliver basic education in local languages. It also gives lessons learned on: policy formulation around language of instruction issues; bilingual programs; and management of the policy environment of language reforms.
  • Publication
    Bringing the School to the Children : Shortening the Path to EFA
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2003-08) Lehman, Douglas
    Recent education planning initiatives in West and Central Africa show that the path to EFA may be shortened considerably by reconsidering the way basic education is delivered in isolated rural communities. Since independence, education systems have been expanding rapidly and are now serving most of the easy-to-reach population. For progress to continue, the focus must be shifted toward the sparsely populated areas, which means adjusting the type of schools used, and building them close to where children live. Most out-of-school children live in rural areas. Unfortunately, few rural schools offer the complete primary cycle. A number of factors contribute to the incomplete-cycle phenomenon. The most significant is that the potential student population is insufficient for a three- or six-teacher school. Having children walk to school from neighboring villages also contributes to low enrollment and low student-teacher ratios. Since teachers generally do not teach more than 1 or 2 grades at a time in a classroom, rural communities usually have low student-teacher ratios, and education system administrators cannot justify sending additional teachers to the school. In addition, schools with incomplete cycles tend to have extremely low survival rates.
  • Publication
    Big Steps in a Big Country : Brazil Makes Fast Progress Toward EFA
    (Washington, DC, 2003-05) World Bank
    By the year 2000, Brazil had almost achieved universal primary enrollment for Grades 1-4, and more than 50 million Brazilians were enrolled in the country's education system. From 1970 to 2000, 32 million additional students entered school, two-thirds of them during the last two decades. Over a five-year period (1996-2000), while primary schooling continued to make important gains, enrollments in secondary and tertiary education in Brazil grew at the astonishing rate of 43% and 44% respectively. Many developing countries face problems with age-grade distortion. Largely because of high repetition rates, age-grade distortion in Brazil is about 10 percent country-wide, and almost 40 percent in the northeastern part of the country. An innovative program called Accelerated Learning has been implemented to address this issue. Under this program, the federal government finances the creation of special classes for over-aged students with the objective of reducing the age-grade distortion and freeing up space in public schools. By year 2000 there were already 1.2 million students enrolled in accelerated learning programs in all Brazilian states.
  • Publication
    EFA in Indonesia : Hard Lessons About Quality
    (Washington, DC, 2003-05) World Bank
    Indonesia has seen vast improvements in access to education over the past thirty years. It is a good example of a country that has followed a disciplined linear approach to EFA: Indonesia focused first on primary school access, next on lower secondary school access, and is only now attempting to address key policy issues to improve learning outcomes. However, many long-established precedents that have a negative impact on quality are proving very hard to change. Indonesia's struggles to improve quality demonstrate the importance of tackling such issues from the very beginning, as initial efforts are put in place to expand access. The Indonesia school system is characterized by startling contradictions. It has seen great gains in primary and lower secondary enrollment as a result of strong political will, but educational quality remains very low. The school year in Grades 3-6 is among the longest in the world (over 1400 hours annually for single shift classrooms), but the potential impact of this extraordinary effort is lost in part because the school year in Grades 1 and 2 is among the shortest in the world (under 500 hours annually in most cases).
  • Publication
    Guinea : A Steady Growth Path to Achieve Education for All
    (Washington, DC, 2002-04) World Bank
    Guinea is one of the few countries world-wide to have sustained over an entire decade the primary school enrollment rate increases necessary to achieve the key Dakar education-for-all goals without degradation of quality. Gross enrollment rate increased almost 10% annually from 1991-2001, with girls' enrollment increasing at 12% annually each year. Gross primary enrollments increased from 28% to 61% over this ten-year period, in spite of a weak macroeconomic environment. The Guinea case, then, provides guidance on how resource-poor countries can plan and follow a steady course toward Universal Primary Education through policy change and hard work, even where conditions, on the surface, are not particularly favorable.