OECD: Governments should ensure children get primary education

12 Sep 18

Governments should ensure children from disadvantaged backgrounds have access to education, the OECD has urged.

Countries were spending more on higher education than early childhood education, the Paris-based organisation noted in Education at a Glance 2018, out today.  

The Paris-based development organisation warned that children without tertiary-educated parents were still less likely to go to university.

It noted that it takes four to five generations for children in families with the lowest earnings to attain the OECD ‘average earning’, which is worked out separately for each country with a particular formula.

Countries should target funding and resources for education to the most vulnerable and encourage people from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter mainstream education, the report suggested.

OECD secretary general Angel Gurria said: “Every individual has the potential for success, and deserves the opportunity to grow, develop and contribute fully to society.

“We have the responsibility to ensure that personal or social circumstances do not impede students from realising such potential. This should be education’s promise to all.”

Between 2010 and 2015, expenditure per student across the members increased by 5% at the primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary levels, and by 11% at the tertiary level.

The report added that the public sector also benefits from having a large proportion of people who have gone through higher education as there will be higher tax and social contributions.

OECD governments, on average, have an ‘internal rate of return’ through tax revenues of 10% for each man and 8% for each woman that completes tertiary education, the analysis found.

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