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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  • 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
    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.