The President of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, has taken the brave step of dropping fees for primary school, thereby making access to primary education easier for many children in the country. But what about the education sector's ability to cope with a sudden increase in demand for education? Are there enough teachers? Is there enough money? And, as the student to teacher ratio will inevitably increase, what happens to the quality of education these children will receive?
Grade inflation is also the product of competition. Competition improves performance and mostly this is good: it leads to lower prices and shorter queues at the checkout. But the process has perverse results when the product is performance measurement, and the buyer is the person whose performance is being measured.
That's John Kay in the Financial Times, on why competition is not always good.
James Tooley argues that private education is cheaper and more effective than public education.
For instance, in Lagos State, the mean maths score advantage over government schools was about 15 and 19 percentage points more respectively in private registered and unregistered schools, while in English it was 23 and 30 percentage points more.
A new paper by Somik V. Lall and Taye Mengistae uses a survey of Indian manufacturing firms to discuss how the local business environment can impact the location of industrial clusters within countries:
The IFC and the Financial Times will be hosting a conference on “Southern Multinationals: A Rising Force in the World Economy” in Mumbai on November 9 and 10.
The World Bank’s reading list on private participation in education has just been updated. The private provision of education services remains an extremely contentious issue in both developed and developing countries. Being that there is great hope that private education can compensate for the perceived inadequacies of current systems, most of the current debate focuses on how this involvement should occur: grants, vouchers, charter schools or something else?