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Education is universally recognized as an important investment in human capital. This study documents the progress of education in Asian countries. Asia offers a particularly rich context for study because countries have such different education outcomes and sectoral policies. The comparative data give countries in the region a fresh perspective for examining their progress and policies in education in relation to their neighbors. The study has two primary objectives: 1) to document the main features of education in Asian countries; and 2) to relate differences in policy choices to education outcomes. The focus is on education costs and financing since these aspects of the education system reveal how resources are deployed in the sector. The study emphasizes cross-country analysis, highlighting differences among countries rather than details about individual countries. Special attention was paid to compiling data and indicators that satisfy two requirements: comparability across countries and consistency within countries. Comparisons among countries are based on indicators of the formation of human capital and the promotion of social equity. For human capital formation, the broad concern is the efficiency of investments in education. For the promotion of equity, the principal concerns are distribution of resources and access to education.

Publisher: World Bank

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