Reconstruction of sustainable education in Kenya
MetadataShow full item record
Education in developing countries is facing problems at all levels: At the primary level, despite gains in enrolment, the quality is appallingly low. In East Africa, some 20-30 percent of students in class 6 pupils, could not read at the class 2 level. Not surprising since in these countries, teachers in public primary schools are absent 25 percent of the time. When present, they are in-class teaching only 20 percent of the time. At the secondary level, the performance of students from the East Africa and North Africa can not interpret simple English questions and international tests such TOEFL is significantly below the developing country average. At the tertiary level, universities are chronically underfunded and not training students for jobs that the market is demanding. All of these problems have a common root. Education is largely a private good. Most, if not all, the benefits of education accrue to the individual in terms of their being able to earn a higher wage as a result of being educated. I say "largely" a private good because we believe that there are also externalities associated with education that society as a whole benefits from having a literate and numerate population. Unfortunately, the empirical evidence of these externalities is rather thin. (Most of the people who believe in the externality are university professors. Even the empirical evidence suggests that the externality does not dwarf the private benefit from education. In short, education is more like food and clothing than like street lighting and national defence.