Publication Date: 1999
Author/Publisher: The World Bank
The report looks at the challenge of educational attainment, a factor restricting opportunities, and aggravated by the differential access to school enjoyed by boys vs. girls. Nonetheless, the limited access to educational opportunities by girls is only one side of this bleak picture: dropout rates are exceedingly high for girls, being the key barrier the high direct, and opportunity costs of education. The report elaborates on the reasons to focus on girls' education, primarily that investment in human capital is key to long-term sustainable development, thus, education is positively correlated with the overall economic growth. Such investment is also complemented by the significant social benefits associated with girls' education, which include economic, health, inter-generational, and environmental benefits. The report analyzes the current operational lending programs, indicating lending for girls' education increased between 1996-1999, though it is difficult to ascertain how significant this increase has been. Following regional patterns, the report illustrates the Bank's wider auspices in the subject, highlighting the Education for All Initiative, the World Bank's 31 Girls' Education Target Countries, the African Low Enrollment Country Initiative, the Partnership for Strategic Resource Planning, and, on Sustainable Strategies for Girls' Education, as well as the Knowledge Management Initiatives. Meeting the challenges calls for increased commitments, by strengthening the focus on initiatives to increase educational access, and, continuing the emphasis on improving the quality, and relevance of education.