The World Bank and African Primary Education: Policies, Practices, and Recommendations

This paper analyses the policy and appraisal methods of World Bank lending to education in Africa, with a focus on primary education. The paper argues that the World Bank’s economic cost-benefit methodology used in assessing primary education projects in Africa is largely ineffective in determining the likely success and impact of these projects. It further argues that in order to determine the net social value of primary education projects in Africa, the World Bank must reduce its dependence on traditional quantitative measures and adopt a more quality-oriented approach with an emphasis on project implementation and the pedagogical and sociological effects of educational methods. Given the financial and economic orientation of Bank analyses, the paper also presents some options for cost reduction in primary education projects, including a more intensive usage of teaching staff, a more efficient use of school buildings, and the use of local labour and building materials for the construction of new schools. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.

Title: The World Bank and African Primary Education: Policies, Practices, and Recommendations
Author: Gonzales, Michael C.
Year: 1999
Periodical: Africa Today
Volume: 46
Issue: 1
Pages: 119-134
Language: English
Geographic term: Africa
External link: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/africa_today/v046/46.1gonzales.pdf
Abstract: This paper analyses the policy and appraisal methods of World Bank lending to education in Africa, with a focus on primary education. The paper argues that the World Bank’s economic cost-benefit methodology used in assessing primary education projects in Africa is largely ineffective in determining the likely success and impact of these projects. It further argues that in order to determine the net social value of primary education projects in Africa, the World Bank must reduce its dependence on traditional quantitative measures and adopt a more quality-oriented approach with an emphasis on project implementation and the pedagogical and sociological effects of educational methods. Given the financial and economic orientation of Bank analyses, the paper also presents some options for cost reduction in primary education projects, including a more intensive usage of teaching staff, a more efficient use of school buildings, and the use of local labour and building materials for the construction of new schools. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.