Which Countries Have Free Education - BLOG POSTS Is free secondary education pro-poor? With contributions from Lee Crawfurd, Aisha Ali, Robert Osei, Kwabena Adu-Ababio and Pauline Rose.
"How can countries achieve the global goals of education? Scalable policies are extremely important. Perhaps the most obvious proven scalable educational intervention is the expansion of free schooling. In this chapter we assess what we can learn from the experience of free primary education reforms to expand free secondary education. The lessons are simple: talk is cheap and money matters. There are hundreds of cases of governments declaring school free but to little effect. Achieving tuition increases requires additional resources to schools compensating for lost fee revenue and building new schools in areas where none existed.Finally, we argue that concerns about equity in secondary education spending are misplaced.The removal of secondary school fees provides a direct benefit to wealthier households already enrolled, but also allows children from lower-income households to enter for the first time to write. The costs are high, but they can pay for themselves in the long term through higher earnings."
Which Countries Have Free Education
"Adu-Ababio and Osei (2018), using a microsimulation for Ghana, find that poverty in Ghana decreased when the country implemented the free secondary school policy. Furthermore, the results showed that the reduction in poverty was even greater for households who was headed. by women. There is thus some empirical support for the chapter's position that the elimination of secondary fees is not regressive or as regressive as previously thought."
Study In Europe For Free (or Low Tuition Fees)
“One of the most controversial topics that we would like to see the authors spend a little more time on has to do with the effect of eliminating fees on the quality of education. The chapter notes that the elimination of fees is positively associated with an increase in the student-teacher ratio, but further argues that the results of the effect of class size on learning outcomes are mixed. Although we cannot dispute these latter results, it is important to note that most developing countries have significantly larger class sizes than their counterparts in more advanced countries and lower educational outcomes. So is increasing class size an optimal policy when everything else is held constant?"
[collapsed accordion] Read Osei and Adu-Ababio's full comments. Comment: Free schooling is a progressive policy if countries can afford it
The chapter provides an overview of public funding for universal primary education. More specifically, it analyzes the effect of universal primary and secondary education for developing countries. This is a very important issue as many developing countries struggle with persistent poverty and inequality along with the urgent need to improve human capital for growth and development. In addition, financing primary and secondary education requires significant fiscal sacrifices that put additional pressure on the already constrained fiscal situation in most of these countries. Although international donor support can sometimes complement a country's public spending on education to achieve global development goals, it may not be targeted or consistent enough to have the necessary impact. The discussion in the chapter is therefore of real policy importance as it helps to raise questions about the provision of universal primary and secondary education and what its implications are. The chapter, in addressing questions about the effects of universal primary and secondary education, touches on the following key points.
The effect of removing fees on tuition: The chapter notes that, in general, the effect of removing fees has been to increase tuition fees, with a smaller effect for secondary schools than for primary schools. The argument why removing fees generates a lower response for secondary enrollment is due to factors such as the rationing of places at the secondary level and also "other or hidden fees". Since the direct effect of the removal of fees is to cater for those who have passed national level examinations and cannot afford to enter high school, one would be forgiven for favoring the hidden fees factor as a more binding restriction on access to secondary education. In fact, the additional spending requirements required for secondary education are much higher, so even when governments legislate no extra charges, where schools have the option, they will still ration places. In Ghana, even where the government has insisted that no fees be charged to parents, much of the capital investment taking place in secondary schools has been undertaken by a number of alumni. Therefore, in the absence of fees, enrollment will still be limited by existing capacity, which is already stretched in many cases.
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Progressiveness or otherwise of free secondary education: The chapter argues that free secondary education is not regressive, a position contrary to what the literature generally suggests. This chapter makes a very good case for why this is the case, arguing that most of the literature has looked at the issue from a static point: if current secondary enrollment is dominated by the non-poor, the elimination of the fee be a transfer. to the non-poor. However, once you factor in behavioral responses, you have a situation where the likelihood that the poor will also benefit from this transfer increases, with the potential to change the regressivity of free secondary outcomes. Of course, the paper implies that the result depends on the elasticity of the response with respect to the poor versus the non-poor. However, he goes on to argue that when built into the net future return to education, it further tilts the argument in favor of free progressivism. We have no doubt that this is a very strong argument and that it should be taken seriously. In fact, some support for this view can be found in the literature. Adu-Ababio and Osei (2018), using a microsimulation for Ghana, find that poverty in Ghana decreased when the country implemented the free secondary school policy. In addition, the results showed that the reduction in poverty was even greater for female-headed households. Therefore, there is some empirical support for the chapter's position that the elimination of secondary fees is neither regressive nor as regressive as previously thought.
Effect of fee removal on the quality of education: One of the more controversial topics we would like to see the authors spend a little more time on has to do with the effect of fee removal on the quality of education. The chapter notes that the elimination of fees is positively associated with an increase in the student-teacher ratio, but further argues that the results of the effect of class size on learning outcomes are mixed. Although we cannot dispute these latter results, it is important to note that most developing countries have significantly larger class sizes than their counterparts in more advanced countries and lower educational outcomes. So is increasing class sizes an optimal policy when everything else is held constant? This issue of optimal class size will engage researchers for some time to come. The one thing that cannot be debated is what these class sizes mean for the supporting infrastructure needed to maximize learning outcomes. In short, and for any country, the requirement is to maximize global human capital given the resources available to it. If increasing numbers (for the given infrastructure) are therefore going to be detrimental to learning outcomes, some hard policy choices will have to be made. However, if the assumption is that countries have excess educational infrastructure capacity and can therefore accommodate increased enrolments, removing fees will in the long run improve growth and development.
To conclude, we point out that the issues discussed in relation to the elimination of fees are important issues that countries face, given the presence of a binding constraint in the limited fiscal space that countries face . In addition, most developing countries today face significant fiscal challenges, with almost every facet of the social and economic infrastructure requirement a priority. Improving learning outcomes, and therefore human capital, in the minds of many is something that should gain more prominence in the policies of developing countries. Therefore, the art of creating fiscal space to allow for the removal of primary and secondary education fees is one that countries will continue to grapple with. Therefore, we tend to support the concept of "progressive universalism" in the financing of education in developing countries.
Adu-Ababio, K. and R.D. Osei. 2018. "Effects of an Education Reform on Household Poverty and Inequality: A Microsimulation Analysis of the Free Secondary School Policy in Ghana." Working Paper WEATHER 2018/147. Helsinki: WE-WEATHER
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[Crawfurd and Ali] suggest, "Simply, when fees fall, poorer students are more likely to enroll." This is simply wrong.
"Importantly, the chapter fails to recognize that in countries that make the most difficult decisions about resource allocation, many children do not make it to the end of primary school, so they would not benefit from removing fees. [...] In low-income countries, less than 40 percent are enrolled in secondary school, and only about 60 percent in lower-middle-income countries. Most of those not enrolled are
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