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AEP Quality of Education

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Comparative Study of Emerging Economies on ‘Quality of Education’

November 2008

Prepared by – Swati Gupta Assocham Research Bureau

Contents 1) Introduction 2) Methodology 3) Emerging Economies Positioning on ‘Quality of Education’ 4) Conclusion References

Introduction As the world economy is undergoing the transition stage, the significance of the developing nations is rising as they have become the major growth drivers. As these economies embark on the growth path, there are several challenges on socio-economic front acting as potential growth disrupters. Education is one such key issue being faced by all the emerging countries. Although the governments in these countries are making impressive budgetary allocations for education expenditure, the quality of education still remain one of the major concerns. The million graduates produced by the education systems do not fulfill the industry purpose, bearing a cost to the economy in terms of lack of employable people. These concerns are more often than not expressed in the Indian situation as well. While the country is home to considerable number of engineering, medical and management schools, the industry by large suffers from the ‘talent crunch’. The need for skill development at vocational level has been felt to meet the employment generation requirement of the country. In this context, Assocham Research Bureau undertook the study of seven major emerging economies of the world and find out their comparative status in terms of quality of education.

Methodology Criteria of selection of the economies – The data provided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the emerging economies was used, out of which top ten countries were selected on basis of their size of GDP at current prices for the year 2007 in the US dollar currency. From the top ten developing economies, the above six were selected considering their political, economic and strategic importance at international level. The analysis was carried out on the basis of 20 parameters relating to primary, secondary, tertiary education and higher education and demography. The table below lists the parameters used and their broad classification – Table A.1 Sno. Category 1 Primary Education Number of Parameters 9 Parameters Compulsory education, legal guarantee of free education, School Life expectancy, Gross Enrolment ratio in primary education, repeaters, drop out rates, teacher-pupil ratio, rate of private enrolment Gross enrolment ratio, repeaters, pupil-teacher ratio, rate of private enrolment Gross Enrolment Ratio, Share of Female in Total Enrolment Global B-school Ranking, Top 200 universities of the world Adult literacy rate, youth literacy rate, gender parity in education attainment, percentage of English speaking population

2 3 4 5

Secondary Education Tertiary Education Higher Education Demographic

4 2 2 4

Benchmarking – All the five categories are assigned 2 score points each. The varying number of indicators used within each category are further allocated score points on proportionate basis.

Emerging Economies Positioning on ‘Quality of Education’
Russia has emerged as the frontrunner in the quality of education parameter to compare seven largest emerging economies of the world with the average GDP growth rate of 6.3 per cent. On the other hand, India has been lagging far behind in the race as it ranks at sixth place with the score points of 3.3 on the scale of 10. China, the largest sized among the developing countries and with the fastest growing GDP, has secured second place with score points of 6.7, at the competitive distance from Russia at 7.,3 points. The South American giant economy, Brazil is positioned at third place with 5.56 score points as the quality of education in Brazil remains stable across all levels of primary, secondary and higher education. Mexico has been ranked at fourth place on the strength of its higher education. South Africa, a relatively new entrant to the club of developing economies, has managed the fifth place on strength of its tertiary education and demographic qualities. However, in the quality of primary education, the country lags behind all its peers. Indonesia, the seventh largest developing economy, got the last position in terms of quality of education. The country secured the overall score of 2.68, as the secondary and higher education in the country could not match the quality standards.

Chart A.1 - Emerging Economies Scorepoints on Quality of Education

South Africa Indonesia Mexico Brazil Russia China Countries India 0.00 2.00

3.89 2.68 5.42 5.57 7.28 6.77 3.29 4.00 6.00 8.00 Score points

Score points Source: Assocham Eco Pulse Study

Chart A.2 – GDP growth Vs. Education Quality Ranks

10 8 6 4 2 0 India China Russia Brazil Mexico Indonesia South Africa

Countries Ranks GDP growth rate

Primary Education The primary education in India is highly under-developed as compared to the other emerging nations. It secured 0.66 score points on the scale of 2 in primary education parameter of quality analysis. The highest scorers were Russia and China with 1.58 points and 1.57 points. Although primary education is compulsory and there is legal guarantee of free education, the gross enrolment ratio in primary education is least in India at 98.1. The highest gross enrolment ratio is in Brazil (148.5), followed by China (116.2) and Russia (113.8) Even Indonesia (110.9) and South Africa (105.1) enjoy better enrolment ratio than India. In the measures of internal efficiency, India rank was better in terms of proportion of repeaters in class as it fell into the group of last three countries, reflecting on the potential caliber Indians possess. However, another parameter, i.e. the drop out rate is second highest in India. On an average, 38 per cent of the students drop from the primary classes. South Africa has the highest rate of 42.6 per cent while this is least in Russia (0.2 per cent) and China (2 per cent). Analysis of pupil to teacher ratio, another significant measure of quality of education delivered at the primary level, portrays quite similar picture. The ratio is highest in India among all the emerging nations as for every forty students, there is one teacher. There is marked difference between India and other developing economies in terms of pupil teacher ratio. In Russia and China, the ratio is 17 and 20. Another yardstick as measurement of quality of education is private enrolment as percentage of total enrolment in primary education. Higher ratio indicates the inefficiency of the public education system. India had the second highest ratio after Indonesia. 15.5 per cent of the total enrolments in primary education segment are in private sector. The proportion is as low as 0.4 per cent for Russia and 2.5 per cent for South Africa. The graph A.1 shows the ranking of the developing nations in the quality of primary eduation.

Chart A.3 - Rankings in Primary Education



5 Ranks 4 Primary Education




0 India China Russia Brazil Emerging Economies Mexico Indonesia South Africa

Secondary Education The analysis revealed that India was at the last position in terms of quality of secondary education. Its score points was this category was 1 on the scale of 2. The gross enrolment ratio in India was minimum at 50 per cent while it was 107 per cent for Brazil, 92 per cent for Russia and 86 per cent for South Africa, the top performers in enrolment criteria. The pupil teacher ratio was highest in India with average 32 students for one teacher. Next was South Africa with the ratio of 30. For China and Brazil, the ratio was 19. Private enrolment of the total enrolment is highest in India for the secondary education as was the case in primary education. Around 42 per cent of the students studying in secondary classes

belong to private schools. The ratio is equally high for Indonesia. Being a socialist nation, the ratio remains minimal in Russia at 0.3 per cent. In South Africa there are only 2.4 per cent of the students enrolling in private schools for secondary education purpose. The chart A.4 shows the ranking of emerging economies in secondary education segment –

Chart A.4 – Rankings in Secondary Education

South Africa Indonesia Mexico Brazil Russia China India

3 3 2 1 6 7

Secondary Education

Tertiary Education The quality of tertiary education in India was lowest among the other emerging nations. It score points on scale of 2, was 0.1. The gross enrolment ratio in tertiary education was least in India with only 11 per cent enrolments taking place. Russia was the top performer with the percentage as high as 70 per cent. The other developing countries could also not match the Russian standards, where the enrolment ratio ranged between 21.5 per cent (Mexico) to 12.7 per cent (China). Another parameter analysed to assess the comparative performance of quality of tertiary education was the share of females in total enrolment. It was found that the percentage of females out of the total enrolment was least in India and also was way low than other emerging

nations. While the average share of female in tertiary education enrolment was 52 per cent for other economies, it was only 8.1 per cent for India. The ratio was highest in Russia and Brazil at 56.7 per cent and 56.1 per cent.

Chart A.5 - Quality of Tertiary Education
0.8 South Africa Indonesia Mexico Brazil Russia China India 0 2 Ranks 1 2 2 0.2 6 0.1 7 4 Scores 6 8 3 1.4 4 5 1.2


Higher Education India enjoys a better ranking in quality of education at higher levels. Obtaining the score point of 1 on the scale of 2, India shared third position in the higher education parameter, with Russia and Brazil. China was the top performer, followed by Mexico. Indonesia and South Africa fell in the bottom two ranges. Two parameters were studied for comparative analysis of higher education among the emerging economies. The first was number of universities in each country to have been ranked in top 200 universities of the world by The Times Higher Education - QS World University Rankings. The second parameter was based on the Global MBA Ranking 2008 done by the Financial Times.

Among the seven largest emerging economies of the world, India was positioned at third place in higher education segment. However, India managed to bag better ranking in the higher education segment merely because of the presence of the ‘India Business School’ which was ranked as top 20 MBA institutions at world level. Other than this, there is no Indian university which falls in Top 100 group according to the Times Higher Education Survey. China which topped the list, had two universities in Top 200 ranking. Two of its management institutions were graded in global top B-Schools cluster. Ceibs and Shanghai Jiao Tong University were ranked at 11th and 41th position among the hundred best B-Schools. Mexico at third position had its Business School ‘Ipade’ at 93rd rank among the top management schools of the world. There was one university of Mexico to have been included in the global best 200 universities. Brazil and Russia, which have scored same points as India in higher education, do not have any institution imparting management education qualified in top hundred MBA Schools ranking. However, one university each in both countries are classified in the best ‘two hundred universities’ category.
Scores 2.5

Chart A.6 - Global Competitiveness in Higher Education





0 India





Indonesia South Africa

Emerging Economies

Quality of Education measured by Demographic indicators Demographics of a country provide significant insight to the level of the education. For the Study purpose, four parameters of demographics were considered viz. literacy rate of youth population, adult population, gender parity in educational attainment and percentage of English speaking population. Even as the demographics of India are considered its strength, the country scored minimum in demographics and was ranked at last place. This was primarily because of the lowest literacy rate in India among its peers. There was a very large difference between the literacy rates of India and other nations. While the other countries such as China, Russia and Brazil have more than 90 per cent literacy rates, in India it is only 61.3 per cent. Indonesia and South Africa have 86 per cent and 87.9 per cent literacy rates. Youth literacy, which measures the literacy rate for the age group between 15 years to 24 years, was highest in Russia at 99.8 per cent, followed by China at 98.9 per cent. For the other countries the ratio was above ninety per cent except India where the data was not available. Table A.2: Demographic Comparisons Country World rank in gender parity in education attainment* 1 28 45 86 87 97 116 Adult Literacy Rate^ (in per cent) 88.2 99.6 86 90.5 90.6 87.9 61.3

Brazil Russia South Africa Mexico China Indonesia India

Source: *Global Gender Report 2008 ^ UNICEF report on Quality of Education 2005

Gender parity in India in terms of educational attainment was also least in India. The data for this category was taken from the Global Gender Gap report 2008 of the World Economic Forum. The overall rank of India among all the countries of the world was 116, it was lowest among the emerging economies. Brazil was ranked first, followed by Russia and South Africa. Mexico was at fourth place, China at fifth and Indonesia at sixth. India, which enjoys the status of having second highest English speaking population in the world, was second to South Africa in terms of percentage of the population speaking English language. India’s 7.95 per cent of the population speaks English, while the ratio is 28.6 per cent in South Africa. For Russia and Mexico, the proportion is 4.9 per cent and 4.5 per cent. However, in China the percentage of English speaking population was as low as 0.77

Conclusion India, despite the presence of immense latent potential is not able to harness the talent of its people to realize economic gains. Education is considered a major milestone in building the human resource capital for a nation to ensure that fruits of economic growth reach the masses and the development is sustained. The results of Study suggest that the quality level of education in India is grim. Even as it enjoys second fastest growth rate after China, among the emerging countries from all over the world, the funds and efforts are not channelised to build on the education resources. India lag behind its peers at almost all the levels including primary, secondary, higher, tertiary. This was also reflected in the demographic comparison with other countries. The Study results call for serious attention which needs to be paid towards the education system in place in the country. This becomes increasingly significant as the majority of 54 per cent of the gross output of the country comes from the services sector. India may stand to loose its competitive advantages against the other countries in long term if corrective measures are not taken to strengthen the Indian education system qualitatively.

References 1) World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2008 2) The Times Higher Education - QS World University Rankings 3) Financial Times Global MBA Rankings 2008 4) International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database, October 2008 5) The EFA Global Monitoring Report 2005 – ‘Education for All’ – The Quality Imperative

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