Still, decades of efforts are only showing mixed results and disparities in education are strongly pronounced. Despite substantial progress, not all children in developing or transitioning countries attend primary school and the adult illiteracy rate in many of these countries is still very high, while attendance rates at secondary and tertiary education institutions are low.
Part of the problem lies with the fact that poor, underprivileged and rural populations are more restricted in their access to education and thus benefit less from education participation than other social groups. This is particularly true for women and girls. Overall, in many developing countries education systems are strongly influenced by the country's colonial past, thus turning them into an instrument of social selection. Furthermore, globalisation and the commodification of education tend to exacerbate the disparities in education in both a north-south context as well as between different social groups within developing countries.
In 2013, on behalf of the Deutschen Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH ÖFSE analyzed the current academic debate regarding the effects of education on areas of society that are relevant to development policy and to derive key findings for development cooperation (DC).
› Paper in Englisch
ÖFSE seeks to analyse both current international education strategies in the context of development cooperation as well as the ambivalent role of education in international development. The guiding question is under what conditions education can contribute to inclusive and sustainable development. The current focus lies on the topics of vocational education and skills development, education in the Post-2015 Development Agenda and Austrian development research.
ÖFSE is part of Plattform Globale Bildungsgerechtigkeit, an open coalition of Austrian organizations that are committed to education equity in a global perspective. The coalition intends to inspire dialogue, to link up ideas and concepts and to encourage networking of like minded persons and organizations. Currently, members include: Bundesjugendvertretung (BJV), Jugend Eine Welt, Kindernothilfe Österreich, Licht für die Welt, Österreichische Forschungsstiftung für Internationale Entwicklung (ÖFSE), Paulo Freire Zentrum, Südwind Agentur.
› Mission Statement – Plattform Globale Bildungsgerechtigkeit (pdf)