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A Moral Obligation,
An Economic Priority:
The Urgency of Enrolling Out-of-School Children
Nicholas Burnett
April 29, 2013
Outline
 Primary Education: A Basic Human Right
 Out-of-School Children: A Persistent Global Challenge
 The Economic, Social, Political and Environmental
Benefits of Primary Education
 The Economic Costs of Out-of-School Children
1
Primary Education: A Basic Human Right
“Everyone has the right to education.”
Article 26 of the 1948 Universal
Declaration of Human Rights
“Ensuring that by 2015 all children,
particularly girls, children in difficult
circumstances and those belonging
to ethnic minorities, have access to,
and complete, free and compulsory
primary education of good quality.”
Education For All Goal 2
“Ensure that, by 2015,
children everywhere, boys
and girls alike, will be able to
complete a full course of
primary schooling.”
Millennium Development Goal 2
2
Out-of-School Children
•
According to official estimates, over 61 million children of primary school age are out
of school (UIS 2012).
•
Discrepancies between latest household datasets and UIS/UNESCO data on out-ofschool children suggest that the global population of OOSC is much higher.
27%
26%
47%
Expected never to enroll
Dropped out
Expect to enroll late
Source: UIS 2012
3
Out-of-School Children
•
South Africa
Progress in reducing OOSC has
stagnated since the mid-2000s.
Mali
Yemen
•
•
OOSC are concentrated
geographically (Sub-Saharan Africa
and South Asia) and demographically
(females, children living with
disabilities, and the poor).
In some regions, OOSC is a
persistent problem due to conflict or
natural disaster.
Kenya
Niger
2010
Burkina Faso
1999
Cote d'Ivoire
Philippines
Ethiopia
Pakistan
Nigeria
0
2
4
6
8
10
4
Out-of-School Children: Country Variation
Breakdown of OOSC populations based on UIS analysis of household surveys, 2013
Number of
OOSC
(thousands)
School-aged
Children
(thousands)
% OOSC
% Drop-outs
% Likely to start late
Cote D'Ivoire*
1,161
3,074
38%
8%
(6-11, UIS 2009)
DRC
3,022
11,285
26%
6%
(6-11, EPDC 2010)
India**
23,400
123,619
19%
3%
(6-10, EPDC 2006)
India
2,278
123,619
2%
0.3%
(6-10, UIS 2008)
Mali
850
2,510
34%
1%
(7-12, UIS 2011)
Pakistan
5,125
19,755
26%
2%
(5-9, UIS 2010)
Yemen
857
3,926
22%
4%
(6-11, UIS 2010)
* The breakdown for Cote d’Ivoire is generated using regional figures for Sub-Saharan Africa, provided by UIS (2012).
**Two estimates are provided for India due to the large discrepancy between UIS and EPDC data.
% Unlikely to Ever
Start
% Non-completing
OOSC
9%
21%
29%
14%
6%
12%
7%
9%
12%
0.7%
0.9%
1.2%
1%
32%
33%
16%
8%
10%
10%
7%
11%
The uneven progress in reducing OOSC makes this a critical time to reconsider the
benefits of primary education and support EAC’s mission.
5
What benefits do out-of-school children forgo?
Economic
Social
Political
Environmental
6
Economic Benefits of Primary Education
•
•
Wage/Productivity gains associated with years of
schooling.
Economic returns to primary education are high, and
critical to rising out of poverty.
Returns to Investment in Education Level
Source: Psacharopoulos and Patrinos 2011
•
Changes in Marginal Return to Education in Latin America in the 1990s.
Source: Behrman, Birdsall, and Szekely (2003)
Note: Linear return refers to yearly change in returns.
Primary education has additional value
as a gateway to the income benefits
associated with post-primary education.
Social Benefits of Primary Education
•
•
An instrument for social reproduction of social change. Good quality curricula can be
instrumental for societal and personal values.
Positive influence on education attainment of the next generation.
•
•
•
•
Amartya Sen’s capabilities framework.
Gross primary enrolment rates associated with lower rates of crime.
Social Cohesion.
Gender Equity, empowerment, self-esteem.
Health Benefits of Primary Education
•
•
•
•
•
•
Maternal and Child Care.
Reproductive behaviors.
Nutrition.
Mortality Rates.
Communicable disease.
Health literacy.
Comparison of Under-five Mortality Rates by
Mother’s Education Level (2000-2010)
The top bar in each set compares children of mothers with no
education to children of mothers with post-primary education.
The bottom bar compares children of mothers with no
education to children of mothers with primary education.
9
Political Benefits of Primary Education
•
•
•
•
•
•
Development of democracy.
Civic engagement.
Government accountability.
Voter participation.
Additional benefits in conflict/post-conflict states.
Peace-building.
Environmental Benefits of Primary Education
•
Emerging evidence that education
is associated with resilience to
natural disasters (Blankespoor
2010).
•
Primary education can also play a key
role in mitigating climate change, by
encouraging environmentally
sustainable lifestyles.
11
What are the economic costs of out-of-school children?
Microeconomic Approach
Macroeconomic Approach
12000
12000
GDP per capita
GDP per capita
B
10000
8000
A
6000
4000
10000
8000
6000
A
2000
2000
0
0
2008
2010
2012
2014
2016
2018
2020
2022
B
4000
0
Year
2
4
6
8
Average Years of Schooling (S)
How much higher would GDP be…
…in ten years, if all of today’s children currently
expected not to complete primary school
actually do complete basic education?
…today, if a country had achieved universal
primary school completion
for the entire working population?
10
Microeconomic Cost Estimation
Total Microeconomic Cost
A
GDP
= B - A (see graph)
B
2008
=
2010
2012
2014
2016
2018
2020
2022
Year
Direct Cost as a % of GDP
=
+
Probability-weighted GDP loss
from forgone secondary education
[% non-completing OOSC] x
[Wage premium to primary education]
+
=
[% non-completing OOSC] x
[Wage premium to secondary education] x
[rate of continuation from primary to secondary school] x
[rate of secondary school completion]
13
Microeconomic Cost Estimation
% Non-completing
OOSC
Direct Cost as a % of GDP
Probability-weighted GDP
loss from forgone
secondary education
Direct GDP loss +
Probability-weighted GDP
loss from forgone secondary
education
Cote d'Ivoire
29%
4.3%
2.54%
6.8%
(6-11, UIS 2009)
DRC
12%
1.1%
0.84%
1.9%
(6-11, EPDC 2010)
India*
12%
0.3%
0.98%
1.3%
(6-10, EPDC 2006)
India*
1.2%
0.0%
0.1%
0.1%
(6-10, UIS 2008)
Mali
33%
2.9%
2.61%
5.5%
(7-12, UIS 2011)
Pakistan
10%
0.8%
0.5%
1.3%
(5-9, UIS 2010)
Yemen**
11%
1.1%
1.70%
2.8%
(6-11, UIS 2010)
Sources for Wage Premia: Colclough (2009), Psacharopoulos and Patrinos (2004)
*Two estimates are provided for India due to the large discrepancy between UIS and EPDC data.
**Continuation to secondary school data was unavailable for Yemen. Mali’s rate of continuation was used, since Yemen and Mali have similar
gross enrollment rates in secondary school.
Macroeconomic Cost Estimation
12000


Relationship between income
and schooling estimated by
Barro and Lee (2010).
If the average citizen completes
primary education, then S = 6.
The red segment above shows
the estimated macroeconomic
cost of OOSC for a country with
S = 4.
10000
GDP per capita ($1990)

8000
6000
4000
2000
0
0
2
4
6
Average Years of Schooling (S)
8
10
15
Macroeconomic Cost Estimation
Macroeconomic estimates of the cost of large OOSC populations, 2010.
Country
Mean Years
of Schooling (2010)
Estimated Income loss
per capita
Cote D'Ivoire
D.R. of
Congo
4.50
22.2%
3.47
43.3%
India
5.10
12.3%
Mali
2.03
83.8%
Pakistan
5.59
5.3%
Yemen
3.69
38.4%
16
Conclusion
 Research confirms that primary education has a range of strong positive impacts,
increasing income potential, empowering citizens, reducing crime rates, improving
public health, and breaking the cycle of poverty.
 Good quality education fosters life-long learning and ensures progress to higher
education.
 The economic cost of today’s out-of-school children is as much as 7% of GDP in some
developing countries.
 Out-of-school children represent an even greater source of economic loss when
uneducated adults (out-of-school children of past generations) are accounted for.
Out-of-school children represent an
unconscionable underinvestment that
prevents nations from reaching their
full economic and social potential.
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