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Issues in Education and Globalisation in Southeast Asia: “Contending mindsets in MDGs and GATS” Raquel D. Castillo National Coordinator E-Net Philippines 25 October 2005
Education has been considered as one of the most important contributors to the achievement of MDGs to halve extreme poverty by 2015
Education for All (EFA) Universal Primary Education (UPE) Vs Universal free compulsory basic education
The performance of South East Asia on educational outcomes has been varied Education Devt Index (EDI) for a country is the arithmetical mean of the values of the indicators selected to measure the four EFA goals: gender parity universal primary education quality of education, and adult literacy
Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand Vietnam are in the intermediate position with an EDI score of 0. 8 -0. 94 Cambodia and Lao (PDR) with a score of less than 0. 8 are unlikely to achieve the EFA goals by 2015
Post the ratification of the EFA and MDG goals in the year 2000, ironically bilateral aid to education($16 B promised by 2006) has in fact experienced a downward trend from an average of 4. 5 percent in the 1990 s to only 4. 2 percent in the first three years of the new millennium (GMR 2005)
Contending principles 1. Education is a basic human right. The State is duty-bound to provide it as a public good. 2. Market is more efficient than government in providing goods and pushes formation of international market in public service delivery.
Political tension between MDGs and GATs MDGs – place expansion and improvement of basic public services such as education at the heart of international development policy GATS – expands corporate access through privately-owned, privatelyfinanced, privately-delivered services
It has been argued that GATS is beneficial as services liberalization helps developing countries by increasing efficiency and providing required inputs.
Trends in so-called public service reform according to WB (NPM) Separation of policy making from service delivery responsibility Increased ‘public-private partnerships’ Decentralisation Contract-based accountability Users as consumers
1. Direct impact of GATS on policy: Standard prescription of ‘privatisation of education’ Cost recovery through user fees, (Aka community financing) Greater private sector participation in education Decentralization of education (Phils RA 9155) Abolishment of subsidies for tertiary education
Private enrollment as a percentage of total (GMR 2005) Preschool Primary Secondary Cambodia 27. 4 0. 9 0. 4 Indonesia 98. 8 16. 0 42. 7 Malaysia 41. 1 3. 8 6. 6 Philippines 46. 0 7. 1 21. 5 Thailand 20. 2 13. 6 6. 4
The faces of privatization in the Philippines 1. Service providers for Non-Formal Education 2. Preschool contracting mechanisms 3. GASTPE 4. Increased ‘user fees’ for state colleges and universities
Impetus for GASTPE LAW Exodus from private to public high school Perennial financing constraints
Growth of Education Services Contracting (ESC) YEAR NO. OF RECIPIENTS 1986/87 4, 322 NO. OF PARTICIP. SCHOOLS 158 2003/04 280, 216 1, 517
Some hard questions… Will performance indicators be better? What values? Will they go to under-served areas? What impact on teachers’ welfare? Will it really cost less, given need to monitor standards?
2. Indirect Impact of WTO on school push-offs (dropouts) In Atok, Benguet, Philippines, vegetablegrowing communities have become poorer because of plunging farm prices. As a consequence, child workers and OSC and OSY numbers are significantly high.
Learner outcomes… 1000 Grade 1 entrants 312 drop 439 will finish 249 will finish in 6 yrs in 9. 6 yrs Only 7 will have 75% scores in Science, Math, English
How many are they nationwide? 11. 2 M Number of among 7 -24 years old, 1989 -2004
More hard questions: Would governments come under pressure to change the conditions under which public services are provided with GATS?
Article I of GATS: The definition of ‘services’ covered in the agreement gives an exception to ‘services supplied in the exercise of governmental authority. BUT… Government services provided on a commercial basis are subject to GATS provisions, as are government services supplied in competition with any other suppliers.
Once the public service is privatized, it ceases to be an exempted government service. Even in a case where privatization is partial, or where the government still maintains its service but allows private entities to also participate in supplying that service, in terms of Article I. 3(c) of GATS, such a service may no longer qualify as a service ‘supplied in the exercise of governmental authority’ and thus could be brought under GATS. (Martin Khor)
The way to go… 1. Developing countries can choose to liberalize selectively and autonomously, without making binding commitments at the WTO; thus, if the liberalization turns out to have negative effects, they can reverse course without having to pay any compensation. National policymaking sovereignty can be upheld.
2. Designing ‘good governance’ should embed defined roles for private and NGO delivery while strengthening and not undermining public institutions.
3. Education is a basic right, not a commodity!