A publication of the Asian Development Bank No. 10     April - June 2011
Developing Asia
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FOCUS: Education in Asia ●

  • The Big Read: Learning by Numbers
    Asia is the world's poster child for increasing school enrollment, but the region faces high hurdles in taking the next step toward creating a world-class educational system.

  • The Big Picture: Learning Curve
    Asia is close to achieving the goal of universal primary education by 2015. Increasing enrollment rates, however, are only the first step toward addressing every child's right to quality education and building the human capital to support the region's continued growth.

  • World-Class Challenge
    Asian nations struggle to create elite universities without leaving behind the millions of their citizens who just need a college education.

  • Cramming in Korea
    After achieving great success at promoting basic education, leaders in the Republic of Korea are now trying to become a world-class knowledge center.

  • Windfall Schools
    Mongolia enjoys high enrollment rates in lower schools and colleges, but major education challenges remain as this resource-rich nation prepares to become a bigger player in international commodities.

  • The Big Mismatch
    Asia needs to train workers for the jobs of the future. Is vocational education the solution?
  • Aid on Trial
    In the past 5 decades, the developing world has received some $2.3 trillion in aid in today's US dollar equivalent. Has it helped, and without it, would the poor be even poorer? Or has it made things a whole lot worse?
  • Cancer's Long Tail
    Will cancer stall Asia's development? Health experts are warning that if a rising epidemic of cancer in Asia and the Pacific goes unchecked it will overwhelm the region's ill-prepared health systems.
  • Profiles in Development: Solving Problems
    Two physicists took on the challenges of a small, impoverished high school in the central Philippines and ended up addressing the educational issues of a nation.
  • Reconnaissance: Trillions of Frenemies
    Nanotechnology could revolutionize the fight against poverty... or just leave the developing world behind.
Off the Press
  • Bread for Babies
  • A Foreign Investment
  • Bailout Syndrome
  • Divine Intervention
  • Calling Big Brother
  • The Global Factory
  • Pressure Cookers
On the Web
  • Giving Wisely: GiveWell
  • Get a Lawyer: TrustLaw Connect
Off the Shelf
  • Consumptionomics: Asia's Role in Reshaping Capitalism and Saving the Planet
  • Red Capitalism: The Fragile Financial Foundation of China's Extraordinary Rise
  • How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly—and the Stark Choices Ahead
  • The Price of Everything: Solving the Mystery of Why We Pay What We Do
  • The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom
On the Record
  • Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh
  • UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake
  • FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf
  • President H. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia
  • United States President Barack Obama
  • Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia
Teaching Prosperity

Education attacks poverty at its roots, laying the groundwork for achieving all development goals. Teaching children to read and write, for example, not only improves their employment prospects, but also better attunes them to their country's development goals—all of which depend on disseminating important information to be successful. As such, literacy is the foundational cornerstone for development.

In this edition of Development Asia, we take stock of the region's successes and remaining challenges in the education sector. We look at different approaches to reform the educational system to advance national interests, from building elite universities to strengthening vocational programs. Our story on the Republic of Korea relates efforts of the state to wean students' overdependence on private tutoring, which is jacking up the cost of education. In "Preparing for a Windfall," we talk about how Mongolia is consolidating its economic gains by investing in schools—even in the Gobi Desert.

Ann Quon
Asian Development Bank

Read the full introduction.

About Us

Development Asia features development issues important to the Asia and Pacific region. It is published four times a year by the Asian Development Bank. The views expressed in this magazine are those of the authors and do not reflect the views and policies of the Asian Development Bank or Haymarket Media Ltd. Use of the term "country" does not imply any judgment by the authors or the Asian Development Bank as to the legal or other status of any territorial entity.

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