The Political Economy of Education in South Asia: Fighting Poverty, Inequality, and Exclusion

By John Richards, Manzoor Ahmed, and Shahidul Islam
Foreword by Sir Fazle Hasan Abed

© 2022

With the exception of Sri Lanka, South Asian countries have not achieved quality basic education – an essential measure for escaping poverty, inequality, and social exclusion. In The Political Economy of Education in South Asia, John Richards, Manzoor Ahmed, and Shahidul Islam emphasize the importance of a dynamic system for education policy.

The Political Economy of Education in South Asia documents the weak core competency (reading and math) outcomes in government primary schools in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal, and the consequent rapid growth of non-government schools over the last two decades. It compares the training, hiring, and management of teachers in South Asian schools to successful national systems ranging from Singapore to Finland. Discussing reform options, it makes the case public good and public priorities are better served when both public and non-government providers come under a strong public policy and accountability framework.

The Political Economy of Education in South Asia draws on the authors' broad engagement in education research and practice in South Asia, as well as analysis by prominent professors of education and NGO leaders, to place basic education in a broad context and make the case that universal literacy and numeracy are necessary foundations for economic growth.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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  • AVAILABLE JAN 2022

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    ISBN 9781487522551
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Quick Overview

This book offers a comprehensive and accessible treatment of recent academic and policy studies of basic education in South Asia.

The Political Economy of Education in South Asia: Fighting Poverty, Inequality, and Exclusion

By John Richards, Manzoor Ahmed, and Shahidul Islam
Foreword by Sir Fazle Hasan Abed

© 2022

With the exception of Sri Lanka, South Asian countries have not achieved quality basic education – an essential measure for escaping poverty, inequality, and social exclusion. In The Political Economy of Education in South Asia, John Richards, Manzoor Ahmed, and Shahidul Islam emphasize the importance of a dynamic system for education policy.

The Political Economy of Education in South Asia documents the weak core competency (reading and math) outcomes in government primary schools in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal, and the consequent rapid growth of non-government schools over the last two decades. It compares the training, hiring, and management of teachers in South Asian schools to successful national systems ranging from Singapore to Finland. Discussing reform options, it makes the case public good and public priorities are better served when both public and non-government providers come under a strong public policy and accountability framework.

The Political Economy of Education in South Asia draws on the authors' broad engagement in education research and practice in South Asia, as well as analysis by prominent professors of education and NGO leaders, to place basic education in a broad context and make the case that universal literacy and numeracy are necessary foundations for economic growth.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    John Richards is an economist and a professor in the School of Public Policy at Simon Fraser University, and a scholar-in-residence at the C.D. Howe Institute.


    Manzoor Ahmed is professor emeritus at BRAC University, Chair of Bangladesh Early Childhood Development Network (BEN). and Vice Chair of Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE).


    Shahidul Islam served as Senior Education Advisor to USAID and is currently a consultant on education reform projects in South Asia.


    Sir Fazle Hasan Abed was the founder of BRAC, one of the world's largest non-governmental organizations.
  • Table of contents

    Front matter
    Table of Contents
    Foreword
    Preface

    Part One: Diagnostics: Chronic Quality Deficit in South Asia’s Basic Education
    Introduction to Part One
    1. Growth, Wellbeing and Basic Education
    2. From “Education for All” to SDG4
    3. Primary School Performance in Reading and Mathematics
    4. Why Low Quality Persists in South Asia’s School Systems
    5. The Sri Lanka Exception and Its Stubborn Challenges

    Part Two: Teachers: The Pivot of Educational Change
    Introduction to Part Two
    6. The Education Workforce – Numbers and More
    7. Who should be teachers – Features of a High-Quality Education Workforce
    8. How teachers can be professionals – Preparing and Orienting the Education Workforce
    9. Governance and Management of the Education Workforce
    10. Ethics and Values Education and Teachers

    Part Three: The Political Economy of Educational Change
    Introduction to Part Three
    11. Private Schools and Public Good
    12. Toward a New Education Governance Paradigm
    13. Political Economy of Education – Leveraging Change

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