Access to education may be enshrined in human rights conventions and the Millennium Development Goals, and billions of dollars of state and donor investment have been pumped into it. But the Global Monitoring Report projects that by 2015 up to 56 million children worldwide will still be out of primary education - a problem by no means restricted to conflict and fragile states. So what further steps can be taken to increase participation in education? And as it does increase, how can quality be maintained?
Economic factors are a major reason for children missing out on education even where provision is available. Demand-side incentives have become increasingly popular as a means to drive attendance. But for such incentives to be successful, they must address the real barriers that families face.
The rapid expansion of education systems in many countries poses challenges in maintaining the quality of service provision. Leadership and teaching talent is spread more thinly and support systems are put under increasing pressure. The private education sector is burgeoning in many countries in response. For governments, the question is how to provide a framework that ensures quality and prevents disparities, while allowing communities and institutions the autonomy to shape education around their needs.
Achieving higher access and better quality simultaneously poses difficult choices about how domestic and aid resources should be allocated. It is essential that decisions are based on evidence regarding effectiveness and efficiency. Institutions need to be organised in ways that facilitate the use of results-based approaches and promote accountability.
OPM, as part of a consortium, are providing support on public finance, monitoring and evaluation and education management information systems to the Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria Read more