World Bank Financing of Education: Lending, Learning, and Development

World Bank Financing of Education: Lending, Learning, and Development

World Bank Financing of Education: Lending, Learning, and Development

World Bank Financing of Education: Lending, Learning, and Development

Synopsis

Based on detailed analysis of thousands of confidential World Bank documents, this book outlines the evolution of World Bank lending policies in education, and assesses the policy impact of the Bank's educational projects. The author demonstrates that the World Bank lies at the centre of the major changes in global education of our time. Its financial power and influence have helped shape the economic and social policies of many governments, including policies that affect education. It has been an influential proponent of the rapid expansion of formal education systems around the world, and has financed much of that expansion. It has been instrumental in forging those policies that see education as a precursor to modernisation. It has served as a major purveyor of Western ideas about how education and the economy are, or should be, related. The author's exposition of how all of this has been achieved, and the implications of the achievement, is unique. It will be of enormous value to those studying, or working in, educational policy in developing countries, international organisations and financial institutions, and aid agencies.

Excerpt

The twentieth century will be remembered as the one in which the world embraced formal education. Acceptance of education as a universal right has been translated into rapidly increasing rates of expansion, access and participation. Given the numbers of people involved, the preferred length of schooling, and its substantial cost, this constitutes an enormous social development, of deep cultural and economic significance.

It was not until the twentieth century that the world saw in formal education both the sign and the means of rapidly entering a modern existence. In the west, the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries had seen processes of agricultural and industrial change precipitate the need for universal schooling. For non-western societies, by contrast, formal education was seen as a necessary forerunner of technological change and economic growth. This is a significant difference, and ironies abound in those many places where celebration of independence from western colonial rule was marked by the desire to transform society along lines implied by the western technological and economic experience. In many non-western societies it was the western institution of schooling that was deemed powerful enough to bring about that transformation.

None of which is to deny the growing significance of non-formal education, especially among those of post-school age. Commitments to human rights and equity have resulted in vigorous attempts to foster literacy and basic education among the unschooled, while economic goals have frequently stimulated interest in patterns of worker education and training capable of leading directly to increased productivity and economic expansion. Notions of lifelong education have had important cultural as well as economic justifications. Economic perspectives on educational planning and management have . . .

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