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Poland's Education and Training: Boosting and Adapting Human Capital

  • Paul O'Brien
  • Wojciech Paczynski

An effective system of education and training is important for both social and economic reasons. Its role in the Polish economy is to provide the current and future labour force with skills to facilitate both continuing productivity growth and reallocation of resources as structural adjustment proceeds. Important reforms to decentralise primary and secondary education in the late 1990s are now reaching maturity, as cohort sizes decline steeply. These reforms and PISA results have focused attention on quality control and the place of vocational education. Both are important in the tertiary sector, too, which has seen a four-fold expansion in 15 years, mushrooming of private-sector provision and questions on the appropriate balance of public and private funding. Participation in adult training is low too and, as elsewhere, seems to be concentrated among already relatively highly-educated groups but does not seem to be having much impact on improving the human capital of older and less skilled groups. This Working Paper relates to the 2006 OECD Economic Survey of Poland ( Éducation et formation de la Pologne : Dynamiser et adapter le capital humain Les raisons pour lesquelles il est important d'avoir un système d'enseignement et de formation efficace sont d'ordre à la fois social et économique. Pour l'économie polonaise, le rôle d'un tel système est de fournir dès aujourd'hui et dans l'avenir une main-d'oeuvre dont les compétences permettront non seulement de continuer à accroître la productivité mais aussi de réaffecter les ressources selon les besoins de l'ajustement structurel. Les réformes importantes entreprises à la fin des années 90 pour décentraliser les enseignements primaire et secondaire sont désormais parvenues à maturité, avec des cohortes dont la taille décroît fortement. Ces réformes et les résultats des enquêtes PISA ont attiré l'attention sur le contrôle de la qualité et la place de l'enseignement professionnel. Ces deux aspects ont aussi leur importance en ce qui concerne l'enseignement supérieur, dont les effectifs ont quadruplé en quinze ans, un phénomène qui s'est accompagné d'un foisonnement de l'offre du secteur privé et de nombreuses interrogations sur le juste équilibre entre financements publics et privés. Du côté de la formation des adules, les taux de participation sont également faibles et, comme ailleurs, ce volet de la formation semble concerner essentiellement les personnes possédant déjà un niveau d'études relativement élevé et ne pas beaucoup contribuer à l'amélioration du capital humain des groupes plus âgés et moins qualifiés. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l'Étude économique de l'OCDE de la Pologne, 2006 (

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 495.

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Date of creation: 30 Jun 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:495-en
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