It is now scientifically proven that knowledge imparted after birth upto the end of teenage is an important factor in the development of a human being. Needless to say,a good education system to deliver primary, middle and Secondary education is a key to a Nation’s development also. This fact is well recognized by the people around the world and whenever the issue of granting assistance to poor Countries comes forth, grant to education is a priority.
The grant of aid has to keep pace with the target set by international agencies like the UN. There are some very challenging targets like 100% literacy by 2030.
While donor Countries are being squeezed due to poor economy afflicting the world for the last 10 years, the efficiency of using the grants in educating children is also an important question.
The challenge is to assess whether this aid leads to capacity development, mentoring, new accountabilities, etc.
The basics of support to education comprise provision for requirements such as classrooms, teachers and instructional materials. However, the outcomes are profoundly influenced by a range of critical and less easily measurable factors such as the nature of the curriculum, the effectiveness of teacher training, the appropriateness of learning materials, school location, school and teacher amenities, the mentoring, supervision and leadership of heads and teachers, the status and respect afforded them by the local community and its involvement in the school.
Foreign aid to education can both focus on and contribute greatly to some of these building blocks to improved learning.
When countries near the goal of universal primary education, many face huge challenges to include the final five or so per cent, as these are the ‘hardest-to-reach’ often including those with a range of disabilities and those from marginalized groups. Achieving anything near to universal access also remains a huge challenge in many fragile states, no less ensuring that the learning provided within the classroom is of a standard and quality to enable those passing through the schools to lead fulfilling and productive lives.
Against this complex backdrop, most aid agencies take the ‘easy’ route in providing an account to the public at home of the results of their interventions in the education field—by focusing mostly on reporting on the ‘numbers assisted’ rather than quality of education delivered.