In Focus: Education

Publication | April 2011

ADB helps developing countries build the sound human resource base essential for inclusive social and economic development.


An educated and trained workforce is vital to social and economic development. The recent economic crisis reconfirmed the challenges for improving Asia and the Pacific's human resources. It highlighted the vulnerability of developing country growth strategies reliant on exports and the importance of strengthening internal sources of economic growth. A shift from export-oriented to consumption-driven growth is in order. But to meet labor market demands arising from rebalanced economic growth—and a need for inclusive development—education systems will need to become more flexible, cost-efficient, equitable, and of higher quality.


In support of the economic recovery, ADB will help countries improve sustainable financing of education and further increase targeted support to girls, children of the poor, and other vulnerable groups to help them continue their education, achieve their full learning potential, and gain relevant skills. ADB will assist with comprehensive longer-term reforms needed to redirect education and skills development systems to support the rebalancing of growth.


Equitable access and quality at all levels of education are important for inclusive social and economic development. While ADB continues to support basic and secondary education, its strategies increasingly support reforms also in postsecondary education—technical and vocational education and training, skills development, and higher education—in line with the social and economic needs of developing countries.