SOCI 254 Lecture Notes - Demographic Transition, Absenteeism, Opportunity Cost

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12 Dec 2012
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Education and development
- often, education ministries and development agencies establish goals
to be accomplished, but this is the way to disaster -supplied side
- ex: we need so many mor kids educated, so we increase supply of
teachers, books, etc
- usually you end up spending limited resources on things that don't
work out
- main problems: limited finances, bottlenecks you produce and
disorganized way it is set up
supplied side arguments:
- on an organizational level frequently fail
- also fail on substantial level
- will usually attempt to do something very modern, like teaching a
dialect, but parents don't want that and the schools will be empty
because the national language is viewed as more important
- give them what they don't want
- belief that parents don't know what's good for their kids, bureaucrats
Best practices
- what's the best way to attack a problem?
- leads to whole libraries of best practices
- problem: best practices in a region are not transferable to other
regions, not best worldwide
- enduring problem: in education, policies are most often ideologically
driven; rather than listening to needs, we jump to conclusions quickly
because we think we know what's best for societies
- ideologies don't have a very long lifespan
- problem of imposing our ideologies on other cultures (like girls edu)
- if you want to help education in a developing country, you have to
put finances where the kids are, and 85% are in private schools
(causes much public outcry but is necessary)
Does education affect development?
- yes, but not if you simply have schools, because this may imply that
you're counting schools that are empty, where teachers have no
teaching diploma -the performance of educational systems is
Education and Econ growth
- education increases human capital
- productivity effects: if you have a more skilled labor force, it will
perform better
- consumption effects: people are more productive, produce more
value, leads to higher consumption; multiplier effects
- reduced inequality: all the ppl at bottom of ladder are raised up, have
more buying power, will participate more in politics, etc
- long term structural effects: will bring Lorenz curve flatter, closer to
line of eq in a country
- indirect effects: reduction in fertility (delays marriage age, age of
first child, etc), morbidity and infant mortality
Performance of edu system
- world wide performance has increased
- gross rate: number of kids in school/number of children in country in
age group (ex primary school ages 6-11)
- counting all kids in school isn't appropriate because some kids we
older than the age, because they dropped out before, redone classes,
- many enrol because of school feeding program, they were hungry so
they enrolled; this is highly unproductive
- Haiti: 75% of kids in school are at least 3 years over age
- gross rates are revealing in terms of the costs of the system
- to know how many kids are in the appropriate grade and age, net
rate is needed
- why gross rates? Much easier to do, to have good net rates you need
reliable census information which is very frequently absent or outdated
in poor countries, but useful to talk about cost of system
- net rates useful for pedagogical goals and interventions, giving
appropriate pedagogical systems to appropriate age groups
Leakage in educational system: levels of non salary input
- salaries are bing paid to teachers, but everything else to build
schools, maintain them, pay for supplies, etc, all of these are financed
but the money doesn't arrive to destination (ex Uganda -87% doesn't
make it, Ghana 49%, Tanzania 57%)
- leakage is important, a lot of money going into education but lots is
getting lost due to:
Staff related leakages
1) inappropriate assignments: frequent practice expressing urban bias,
ex student/teacher ratios four times higher in remote rural areas
2) absenteeism: teachers not showing up or when they show up it is
extremely late and don't teach (benefit from feeding program, etc), ex
Uganda 27%
3) ghost workers: teachers die and are still on payroll, ex Uganda 20%
- problem of promoting good teachers into bureaucrats
Private vs social costs and benefits of education
- social costs are high (opportunity cost goes up the older the kids are,
as the contribution if the child goes up kids age)
- always private costs
- direct costs vs opportunity cost
- social benefits are higher in primary schooling
- private benefits are higher in secondary and higher education
- elementary school benefits country as a whole
- at secondary and higher education, benefit is mostly for you and our
- people with higher education have tendency to migrate
Best investment in poor countries producing highest long term
- girls' education based on crude chief economies
- why?
Video: Dubai cares video by Dubai media
- connection bw nutrition and learning capacity
- there are good ways and bad ways to incorporate school feeding
- why Dubai? Filthy rich Arabs going to Ghana? Social ties, way to
defend their name -important to look at wider context in charity
- simply feeding kids doesn't work
- ways in which feeding can do good: 1) using education as conduit for
health intervention - de-worming kids (takes only a few pills) so body
can absorb nutrients 2) using local food as oppose to cheap imported
State failure and schooling
- state failure is not necessarily permanent, and some parts of state
may function while others fail
- 1979 school reform in Haiti goals: universal access, free education in
public schools, national curriculum for all, including private schools,
mother tongue instruction, modernization if system according to best
practices learned elsewhere, international financing
- kids learn better when, in their first years, they are taught in their
mother tongue