Publication: India - Karnataka : Secondary Education and the New Agenda for Economic Growth

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World Bank
The report addresses three major concerns of policy makers in Karnataka, on which there is little prior information, or research, namely whether the expansion in student places at the secondary, and higher secondary levels, is justified on economic grounds; how do secondary school drop-outs from disadvantaged, or poor backgrounds perform in the labor market, and in continuing into higher education: is it worse than students from more advantaged backgrounds?; and, is vocational training a desirable alternative to general higher education, in terms of improving labor market performance? State specific data on employment, unemployment, and earnings is used form the National Sample Survey 1993/94, and from a tracer study conducted in 2001. This study provides more recent data on the labor market performance of new entrants with secondary education, and the patterns of transition into higher education: the transition rate is very high - some two thirds of lower secondary students, and 87 percent of higher secondary students, continued further studies. Nonetheless, an analysis of the growth in aggregate employment, shows that employment in the "organized" sector (mostly recruiting educated workers) has been slow, mainly because of the slowdown in public sector recruitment. If these trends continue, and are not counterbalanced by more rapid growth in employment of educated workers in the "unorganized" sector, further expansion of secondary education is likely to lead to an increase in the level of unemployment among the educated youth. Findings reveal however, that expansion of vocational training as currently configured in Karnataka, is not desirable, since it is not responsive to the changing labor market, and the State should explore new approaches to upgrading skills in both secondary, and elementary education.
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World Bank. 2002. India - Karnataka : Secondary Education and the New Agenda for Economic Growth. © Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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