As Costa Rica’s economy has developed in recent decades, the education system that helped propel the country to upper middle-income status now needs reform to respond to rising expectations and changing demands for skills. New challenges are emerging: economic growth has recently slowed, inequality is widening and productivity growth is weak. How can Costa Rica improve both the quality and equity of its education system while also addressing efficiency challenges? This report assesses Costa Rica’s policies and practices against best practice in education from across the OECD and other reference countries in the Latin American region. It analyses its education system’s major strengths and the challenges it faces, from early childhood education and care to tertiary education. It offers recommendations on how Costa Rica can improve quality and equity to ensure strong, sustainable and inclusive growth. This report will be of interest in Costa Rica as well as other countries looking to raise the quality, equity and efficiency of their education systems.
This report on The Funding of School Education constitutes the first of three thematic comparative reports bringing together findings from the OECD’s School Resources Review. School systems have limited financial resources with which to pursue their objectives and the design of school funding policies plays a key role in ensuring that resources are directed to where they can make the most difference. As OECD school systems have become more complex and characterised by multi-level governance, a growing set of actors are increasingly involved in financial decision-making. This requires designing funding allocation models that are aligned to a school system’s governance structures, linking budget planning procedures at different levels to shared educational goals and evaluating the use of school funding to hold decision-makers accountable and ensure that resources are used effectively and equitably.
This report was co-funded by the European Commission.
The transition from early childhood education to primary school is a big step for all children, and a step which more and more children are having to take. Quality transitions are well-prepared and child-centred, managed by trained staff collaborating with one another, and guided by an appropriate and aligned curriculum. They enhance the likelihood that the positive impacts of early learning and care will last through primary school and beyond. While transition policies have been on the agenda of many countries over the past decade, little research has been done into how OECD countries design, implement, manage and monitor transitions. Filling these gaps is important for designing early years’ policies that are coherent, equitable and sustainable.
This report takes stock of and compares the situation across 30 OECD and partner countries, drawing on in-depth country reports and a questionnaire on transition policies and practices. It focuses on the organisation and governance of transitions; and the policies and strategies to ensure professional, pedagogical and developmental continuity between early childhood education and care settings and schools. The report describes the main policy challenges highlighted by participating countries, along with a wealth of practical strategies for tackling them. The publication concludes with six “cross-cutting” pointers to guide future policy development.
Early childhood education and care (ECEC) can help lay the foundations for future skills development, well-being and learning. Having timely, reliable and comparable international information is essential to help countries improve their ECEC services and systems. For over 15 years, the OECD has been conducting policy analysis and gathering new data on ECEC. For the first time, this report brings together all the key ECEC indicators in one volume. It presents an exhaustive overview of ECEC systems and provision as well as trend data and information on recent reforms. The report takes a hard look at issues such as access and governance, equity, financing, curriculum, the teaching workforce and parent engagement. Key challenges for improving the ECEC sector are identified.
With around 45 charts and data for the 35 OECD countries and a number of partner countries, the publication also includes a great deal of new material. It offers new data on ECEC provision and intensity of participation for children under the age of three (based on an improved typology of settings). It also presents new indicators on the profile of ECEC staff (e.g. level of qualification, teacher salary and organisation of working time) and on equity in access to ECEC. New PISA 2015 analyses help highlight the relationship between the number of years of ECEC and academic performance at age 15, and the effects of ECEC attendance on health and well-being, and mothers’ employability.
This joint OECD-ILO publication provides guidance on how local and regional governments can foster business-education partnerships in apprenticeship programmes and other types of work-based learning, drawing on case studies across nine countries. There has been increasing interest in apprenticeships which combine on the job training with classroom-based study, providing a smooth transition from school to work. There are benefits to both individuals and employers from participating in apprenticeships, including increased productivity and job quality. Successful implementation is contingent on having a high level of employer engagement at the local level, notably in the design, development and delivery of programmes.
The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) examines not just what students know in science, reading and mathematics, but what they can do with what they know. Results from PISA show educators and policy makers the quality and equity of learning outcomes achieved elsewhere, and allow them to learn from the policies and practices applied in other countries. PISA 2015 Results (Volume IV): Students’ Financial Literacy, is one of five volumes that present the results of the PISA 2015 survey, the sixth round of the triennial assessment. It explores students’ experience with and knowledge about money and provides an overall picture of 15-year-olds’ ability to apply their accumulated knowledge and skills to real-life situations involving financial issues and decisions.
Over the past decades, developed and emerging countries and economies have become increasingly concerned about the level of financial literacy of their citizens, particularly among young people. This initially stemmed from concern about the potential impact of shrinking public and private welfare systems, shifting demographics, including the ageing of the population in many countries, and the increased sophistication and expansion of financial services. Many young people face financial decisions and are consumers of financial services in this evolving context. As a result, financial literacy is now globally recognised as an essential life skill.
Since the 1990s, the world has entered a new phase of globalisation. Information and communication technology, trade liberalisation and lower transport costs have enabled firms and countries to fragment the production process into global value chains (GVCs). Many products are now designed in one country and assembled in another country from parts manufactured in several countries. Thirty percent of the value of exports of OECD countries comes from abroad. In this new context, GVCs and skills are more closely interrelated than ever. Skills play a key role in determining countries’ comparative advantages in GVCs. A lot of the opportunities and challenges brought about by GVCs are being affected by countries’ skills.
The OECD Skills Outlook 2017 shows how countries can make the most of global value chains, socially and economically, by investing in the skills of their populations. Applying a “whole of government” approach is crucial. Countries need to develop a consistent set of skills-related policies such as education, employment protection legislation, and migration policies, in coordination with trade and innovation policies. This report presents new analyses based on the Survey of Adult Skills and the Trade in Value Added Database. It also explains what countries would need to do to specialise in technologically advanced industries.
Romania’s education system has made impressive strides over the past two decades, with an increasing share of students mastering the basic competencies that they need for life and work. But these average improvements mask significant disparities in learning outcomes and attainment, with an increasing share of students leaving education early without basic skills. This review, developed in cooperation with UNICEF, provides Romania with recommendations to help strengthen its evaluation and assessment system, by reducing the weight of high stake examinations and creating more space for the formative discussions and feedback that are integral to improving learning and teaching. It will be of interest to Romania, as well as other countries looking to make more effective use of their evaluation and assessment system to improve quality and equity, and result in better outcomes for all students.
This report discusses the implications of the digitalisation of finance for financial education and relevant consumer protection issues and provides an overview of digital financial services around the world.
The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) examines not just what students know in science, reading and mathematics, but what they can do with what they know. Results from PISA show educators and policy makers the quality and equity of learning outcomes achieved elsewhere, and allow them to learn from the policies and practices applied in other countries. PISA 2015 Results (Volume III): Students’ Well-Being, is one of five volumes that present the results of the PISA 2015 survey, the sixth round of the triennial assessment. It explores a comprehensive set of well-being indicators for adolescents that covers both negative outcomes (e.g. anxiety, low performance) and the positive impulses that promote healthy development (e.g. interest, engagement, motivation to achieve).
Children spend a considerable amount of time in the classroom: following lessons, socialising with classmates, and interacting with teachers and other staff members. What happens in school – as well as at home – is therefore key to understanding whether students enjoy good physical and mental health, how happy and satisfied they are with different aspects of their life, how connected to others they feel, and the aspirations they have for their future.