International investment in education for development
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International investment in education for development. Public good, or economic tool? Alexandra Draxler -- formerly UNESCO . The right to education: construction and evolution. Early 1960s the right to education was central. Lending for education was limited to infrastructure

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International investment in education for development

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International investment in education for development

Public good, or economic tool?

Alexandra Draxler -- formerly UNESCO

ANZCIES 2013 Newcastle, Australia

The right to education: construction and evolution

Early 1960s the right to education was central. Lending for education was limited to infrastructure

The identification of human capital as a force of economic growth both stimulated and justified advising developing countries to “invest” in education

Education became education”both a sign of wealth and a source of it.”

A few milestone education reports from before 2000

UNESCO’s first major report on the “World Education Crisis” (1968) adopted a largely human capital approach

In 1971 and again in 1996 UNESCO issued reports that were firmly rights-based, education being seen as a good in its own right

World Bank reports (1971, 1974, 2001) consistently pushed human capital and rates of return

ILO launch the notion of basic human needs (1976) that infused the debate for many years

Education, development and the new millennium

Jomtien (1990), Dakar (2000) and the EFA “movement” stressed rights-based approaches but recognized and acknowledged the growing movement to invite privatization into the education development landscape

Education for All (1990, 2000) movement generated the annual and influential Global Monitoring Report, that has generally focused on capabilities, basic human needs, and reducing inequality

Public-private partnerships (i.e. devolving, through contract and government support substantial portions of education provision) have become part of the education landscape

Post 2015 : intense activity, UN S-G High-level panel, education goals are included in proposals; metrics and targets figure prominently; private sector closely involved in urging standardization across countries, metrics, and use of technology

Let them eat data…

Study on what PISA tells us about equity (2005) :

Policy makers should focus their attention on how basic skills vary between different groups of pupils and different schools within each country

High-level Panel :

Make data freely available to all for good governance

Disaggregation to ensure all groups and individuals are covered

first step a global strategy … Why? What good is complex data for the majority of people? Will it trickle down? Will it build local capacity? Does global data drive local policy and practice? What is the evidence?

Winners and losers in the race to the top

International measurement and testing will in all probability remain in the hands of international groups, failing to develop national capacity, local standards and local responses

Rates of return make the attractiveness of education options dependent on crude and highly-contested statistics

EFA statistics that focus on national enrolment and achievement rates do not help tackle the biggest problem, that of inequality among groups and individuals

Solutions in search of relevant problems?

More and better international normsMore and better data

More and better standardized tests

More and better comparisons


Equality and comprehensiveness of opportunity and learning?

Private sector motivation and opportunity

Development of standardized tests

Sales of delivery tools for learning (textbooks, computers, phones, tablets)

Data collection and analysis (sometimes public, sometimes proprietary)

Ownership and/or management of schools and training centers

Teacher training and certification

Management tools and training

Public sector ↔ Public good

Only public sector, however imperfect, has the regulatory power, democratic oversight and mission to ensure

Democratic and transparent processes

Last mile

Special needs

Reduction of inequality

Social cohesion

Thank you

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