Education and adjustment : a review of the literature
Many recent studies evaluate the effects of adjustment on economic growth and on the poor, but few assess the specific impacts of adjustment on the education sector. The author assesses what is known about how adjustment affects education. He concludes that reliable evidence is limited. Most critics of adjustment programs say little about education directly and do not distinguish the effects of adjustment measures from the effects of internal recession, fiscal constraints, or structural problems. Early adjustment programs ignored education issues - but adjustment lasted longer than expected, so the Bank has broadened its approach to protect education from the negative effects of adjustment. Relevant data are scarce and of poor quality. The most common indicators - aggregate financing and enrollment indicators - are difficult to interpret. Moreover, analyses may compare indicators between two before-and-after points but say nothing about how or why indicators change. The effects of changes in financing on coverage, quality, and equity of education are by no means obvious. Education has a long gestation period, so the impacts of adjustment may not yet be evident. Country studies are probably the best framework for analyzing the adjustment process. The database of key education indicators must be improved.
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