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Symposium 2012

Solution for Tackling Inequality of Opportunities

The Challenge

Inequality has increased substantially in many countries in recent decades. Spectacular gains in the incomes and wealth of the richest fraction of the population often contrast with severe poverty in ...

Inequality has increased substantially in many countries in recent decades. Spectacular gains in the incomes and wealth of the richest fraction of the population often contrast with severe poverty in the same country. Inequality of outcomes often goes hand in hand with inequality of opportunities, as poor people endure various forms of social exclusion, including unequal access to education and health care, high rates of youth unemployment or precarious work and an absence of social recognition.

Add quality targets to quantity targets in education and provide access to high-quality education through education vouchers for poor children and free choice of institution.

Providing high-quality education to all children at all ages is central to solving the problem of inequality of opportunities. But current education policies are mostly focused on quantity targets (such as average years of schooling or entry rates to universities) rather than quality targets. But children from poor families not only suffer from insufficient school enrolment but also from difficulties in accessing high-quality institutions.

Governments should give higher priority to the quality of educational institutions. This requires a coherent measurement framework of educational quality that is aligned with a country’s level of development. Based on these quality assessments, governments should channel their funds into education models that prove particularly successful. This may imply a shift towards private provision of schooling.

Moreover, governments should enable all children to access high-quality education. This may be achieved by providing education vouchers to children from poor families and by allowing free parental choice of educational institution for their children.

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    Symposium 2012

    Fund social projects through Social Impact Bonds (SIBs).

    Fund social projects through Social Impact Bonds (SIBs).

    Fund social projects through Social Impact Bonds (SIBs).

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    Publicly-funded early childhood programs should complement family and social policies that provide support for disadvantaged families.

    Publicly-funded early childhood programs should complement family and social policies that provide support for disadvantaged families.

    Publicly-funded early childhood programs should complement family and social policies that provide support for disadvantaged families.

    Polity, Civil Society