This working paper #2 is titled "The Educational Challenges of Transition: Key Issues for Low- and Lower-Middle-Income Countries and GPE Toward 2030".
It maps the dimensions of educational development in GPE partner countries, and profiles educational participation to create an understanding of how access has changed and where the priorities are for future investment and external assistance. Its
focus is on GPE’s developing country partners (DCPs), especially those in transition from low- to lower middle-income status and those where primary school participation is nearing universal levels.
Massive educational development needs remain unmet across the DCPs and invite new commitments and bold reforms. The biggest challenges are managing the universalization of secondary school, providing access for all children to preschool, and controlling the public costs of growth in higher and further education.
At the same time, additional investment is needed to enhance quality and raise levels of achievement. Public finances will be stretched to capacity. Governments can increase allocations to education as a proportion of GDP and of the public budget, and make gains from increased efficiency. Private contributions from households should grow, but will not be sufficient to fill the funding gaps because of steeply unequal income distribution that leaves many families below the poverty line.
The domestic private sector in most DCPs is too small and only weakly motivated to invest in educational services for the poor. Innovative financing mechanisms could make useful contributions to the resources available, but most proposals are unlikely to generate the volume of recurrent expenditure needed to achieve and sustain GPE goals. Inequalities will grow unless public financing promotes equitable participation.
The poorest, living on less than US$1.25 a day, cannot afford fees and other charges. Charging those below the poverty line for public services increases the number of households in poverty. Pro-poor public financing will necessarily remain at the core of the education policy agenda in DCPs.
External assistance is essential to catalyze reforms that lead to sustainable educational development in DCPs. Strategically focused GPE grants can contribute to increased resource mobilization by governments, greater access for all children, more efficient delivery systems and enhanced learning outcomes. Eligibility for education sector program implementation grants depends on DCPs having gross national income per capita below US$1,045 and primary completion rates below 85 percent.
Recently, adjustments have been made to the income thresholds, countries affected by fragility and conflict have been given enhanced eligibility, and lower secondary completion rates have been added into the eligibility process. Some low-income countries and many lower-middle-income countries may lose eligibility for GPE support as incomes rise and primary and lower secondary completion rates improve.
To read the full paper, download it below