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Egypt : inequality of opportunity in education, Volume 1
Author:Ersado, Lire; Gignoux, Jeremie; Country:Egypt, Arab Republic of;
Date Stored:2014/08/04Document Date:2014/08/01
Document Type:Policy Research Working PaperSubTopics:Primary Education; Teaching and Learning; Access & Equity in Basic Education; Secondary Education; Education For All
Language:EnglishRegion:Middle East and North Africa
Report Number:WPS6996Collection Title:Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 6996
Volume No:1  

Summary: The paper examines the levels and trends in access to education and educational outcomes across generations of Egyptian youth. Examination of three cohorts of individuals aged 21 to 24 (born between 1964 and 1967, 1974 and 1977, and 1982 and 1985) shows that access to education has substantially improved during the last three decades. Completion rates increased by more than 60 percent at the preparatory level and 70 percent at the secondary level and the college completion rate more than doubled. However, significant inequities remain in access to education and educational outcomes. The fraction of never enrolled among the cohorts is still large, affecting more girls than boys, more rural than urban areas, and more children of parents with lower level of education and in elementary occupations, such as subsistence agriculture. The analysis of test-scores from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and national examinations shows that more than a quarter of learning outcome inequality is attributable to circumstances beyond the control of a student, such as parental education, socioeconomic background and place of birth. In Egypt, inequality of opportunity in learning outcomes emerges early and builds up progressively throughout the education levels. Access to higher education continues to remain significantly lower for children from rural areas and for those whose parents have a low level of education or are engaged in elementary occupations. Tracking into vocational and general secondary schools, which depends on a high-stakes national examination, and high and unequal levels of household expenditures in private tutoring substantially contribute to unequal learning outcomes.

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