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Moving Toward Free Primary Education: Policy Issues and Implementation Challenges


  • H. Dean Nielsen


The structural adjustment programs of the 1980s, promoted as a viable alternative to tax-based financing of public services, called for cost recovery measures such as the imposition of school fees, which ultimately became too burdensome for the poor. By the end of the decade, for political and equity reasons, governments began to move in the other direction, championing the abolition of school fees within vigorous Education for All movements; by the turn of the century, “fee free” primary education had become the preferred policy in many of the poorest countries.

Suggested Citation

  • H. Dean Nielsen, 2009. "Moving Toward Free Primary Education: Policy Issues and Implementation Challenges," Working papers 0905, UNICEF,Division of Policy and Strategy.
  • Handle: RePEc:uce:wpaper:0905

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