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Who benefits from public education spending in Malawi? Results from the recent education reform, Volume 1
Author:Castro-Leal, Florencia; Country:Malawi;
Date Stored:2002/09/17Document Date:1996/12/31
Document Type:PublicationSubTopics:Primary Education; Teaching and Learning; Curriculum & Instruction; Health Monitoring & Evaluation; Gender and Education
ISBN:ISBN 0-8213-3837-4Language:English
Major Sector:EducationRegion:Africa
Report Number:WDP350Sub Sectors:(Historic)Other education
Collection Title:World Bank discussion papers ; no. WDP 350Volume No:1

Summary: Malawi's education system is hampered by problems of poor access, high repetition and dropout rates, poor infrastructure and inequality. To address this situation the new Government of Malawi has made education, particularly primary education, its top priority. After public recurrent spending on education surged and primary-level fees were abolished in 1994, Malawian households responded and primary-level enrollments jumped by more than 60 percent. This study uses the Benefit Incidence Analysis to examine the distribution of public spending in education across different socioeconomic groups before and after these changes. Recent public budgetary changes favoring primary-level spending, the removal of all primary school fees and the surge in enrollments at this level had a significant impact on the distribution of public education spending in Malawi. In 1994-95, the poorest one-fifth of the population received 16 percent of all public education spending compared to only 10 percent in 1990-91, while the share going to the richest one-fifth of the population declined from 38 to 25 percent between the same years. The Malawi example shows that an effective way to increase the equity of public spending in education is to increase the total allocation of public resources to primary education while easing the constraints on the demand for education faced by poor households.

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