The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) has just released a new report showing that African governments have increased their real expenditure on education by more than 6% each year over the past decade. The UIS report, entitled Financing Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: Meeting the Challenges of Expansion, Equity and Quality, presents the most comprehensive and timely data available on the financing of education in 45 African countries. It also includes historical data to track financing trends since the World Education Forum in 2000. The major highlights from the report include:
*Â Â Between 2000 and 2008, the number of children in primary schooling increased by 48% – from 87 million to 129 million. Enrollment in pre-primary, secondary and tertiary education also grew by more than 60% during the same period.
*Â Public spending on primary education grew at an even faster rate than primary enrollment. Many governments not only expanded access to schooling but also sought to improve the quality of education provision.
*Â Â On average, education accounts for more than 18% of all public spending in sub-Saharan Africa, compared to 15% in other regions. Overall, the region devotes 5% of its gross domestic product (GDP) to education, which is the second highest regional proportion after North America and Europe at 5.3%.
*Â Across the region, families are the largest private financers of education and provide 30% of all primary education resources. This proportion rises to 49% and 44% respectively for upper and lower secondary education. Yet at the tertiary level, the figure falls to 22%. This means that almost 8 out of every 10 dollars spent on tertiary education is subsidized by the government.
The report and related resources can be accessed at the UIS site on this link