There are three major issues plaguing poor developing countries, particularly in the early grades: high grade repetition, low literacy rates, and no early childhood development programs. This triple crisis is experienced in about 40 countries around the world, according to the report. Some of these countries also report massive over-enrollment in the early grades, with a steep drop-off between first and second grade. This is largely the result of grade repetition.
Participatory and community management interventions
Bottom-up policies involve the dissemination of relevant information to stakeholders, including teachers and parents, in order to raise awareness of the problems faced by the community and solutions to those problems. Such policies often include incentives for changing preferences and behaviours, which alter social norms and the demand for education services. Di Gropello and Marshall studied the impact of bottom-up policies in developing countries. Their research identified that community participation increases the quality of education services, despite the limited resources.
The use of frameworks can improve the quality of studies and engage co-researchers. However, few studies employed these frameworks. The authors note that some interventions may not have been appropriate for a specific framework. This gap in the literature should be addressed by more rigorous analysis that uses methods beyond experimental research designs. Further research should consider social norms and idiosyncrasies, as well as intertemporal preferences of the stakeholders in a developing country.
Progress has been made in reducing gender gaps in education worldwide, but the task remains difficult. Gender-based inequalities in education continue to persist, even in the richest countries. While the gap between boys and girls in primary school remains large, the gender gap in secondary school has narrowed in the poorest countries. This pattern is not unique to the poorest countries, as the same trends have been observed in many low-achieving nations 60 years ago.
Although the gender gap has become more narrowed in the Third World, illiteracy rates remain very high. There are 840 million adults in developing countries who are illiterate, compared to 21% for men. In Third World societies, girls and women tend to receive less formal education. Lack of education laws, poor enforcement of these laws, and the tendency to value sons over daughters contribute to the inequalities in education.
In low-emitting countries, students can learn the benefits of using sustainable technologies and applying them to protect their local environment. In Mozambique, a solar-powered “floating school” addresses frequent disruptions in schools. In developing countries, hydroponics-based floating farms help communities improve their livelihoods and reduce the number of famine marriages among young girls. Such education and skills-based programs can improve the quality of education in developing countries.
Climate change education is an important means to empower young people to adapt to a changing climate. It helps students develop knowledge about the causes of global warming, and develop transferable skills that will be beneficial in the future. Among these are critical thinking, problem-solving, empathy, and negotiation skills. Such education helps students become responsible and politically-minded citizens. Ultimately, climate change education helps improve the quality of education and raise the social status of children.
Accountability and pedagogy
To understand the role of accountability in improving the quality of education in developing countries, we need to consider the relationship between the state and social communities. In their book, Ganding and Apple recommend decentralisation of educational systems. For instance, a “Citizen School” would prioritize education for the poorest, while establishing a relationship between the state and social communities based on social justice.
Several studies have shown that combining accountability and pedagogy can improve the quality and outcomes of education in developing countries. But this has only been possible in a few cases. Despite its complexities, the underlying principles of accountability and pedagogy are consistent among countries. By comparing the outcomes of educational institutions in different countries, we can see which factors influence the quality of education most.