Financing Education: Opportunities for Global Action
Children in rural areas have been twice as likely as those in urban areas to never go to school; the poorest children are five times less likely to complete primary school than the richest; 36 percent of out-of-school children are in conflict affected zones; and 16 of the 20 countries furthest from reaching the Education for All goals are in Sub-Saharan Africa. This report focuses on how a subset of the targets related to basic education—that is, that all children should complete high-quality pre-primary, primary and lower secondary education—can be financed. This focus was chosen because these basic education goals form the basis of all other goals. They have also been shown to have the highest social returns in developing countries and are likely to be the focus of the bulk of public finance in the years to come. We recognize that the financing of basic education will depend on the extent to which actors can address financing constraints at higher levels of education, which are currently absorbing large shares of public resources in many countries. Solutions to increase financing for basic education need to go hand in hand with developing alternative financing options (e.g., loan programs and selective scholarships) at higher levels of education.