As Yogi Berra said, “It is hard to make predictions, especially about the future.” It is true some things are hard to predict, even as they are about to happen: few in 1988 predicted the fall of the Berlin Wall; few in 2009 saw the Arab Spring coming; few in the midst of the Cultural Revolution predicted the incredible economic rise of China. But we do know something about the quite distant future. We know exactly the state of basic education of the future generation. Why?
Lant Pritchett has a knack for making novel arguments and making them seem so obvious that one wonders how no one has made them before. His recent RISE working paper, The Politics of Learning: Directions for Future Research, is no exception. It’s chock-full of key insights for anyone who seeks to explain why developing country governments pursue their educational policies.
In 2016, as a graduate student of Public Policy at the University of Oxford, I remember being thrilled to attend the RISE Annual Conference, and on the suggestion of Dr. Clare Leaver (my economics professor at the time), I presented a poster on the Right to Education in India. It was a fantastic experience to hear from the likes of Prof. Lant Prittchet, Prof. Paul Glewwe, Dr. Deon Filmer, etc.
In 2015, with the help of United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and with additional funds from the Australia Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the RISE Programme was established to understand what features make education systems coherent and effective in their context, and how the complex dynamics within a system allow policies to be successful.
Source: Luis Crouch, using data from EGRA learning assessments and other publications, and taking a stylized average across sets of countries.
Here are a few facts:
This year I attended three conferences/workshops that had at least one session on education and education systems. As the year draws to a close, I spent some time reflecting on the common themes and the road ahead, and in particular how it fits with my research. In this blog, I will briefly describe the (personal) highlights from each event: a workshop by The Centre for Teaching and Research in Economics’ (CIDE), the RISE Annual Conference at the Centre for Global Development (CGD), and the Empirical Management Conference at the World Bank.