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Education Issues in Asia and the Pacific

Asia is a global success story when it comes to educating children. Overall, 9 out of 10 children in the region today are enrolled in primary school. For a continent that contained two-thirds of world’s out-of-school children in the 1970s, the progress has been nothing short of remarkable.

However, while much progress has been made over the past 10 years, indicators still point to serious education and human-resource shortfalls at all levels throughout the region, a reality that could dampen Asia’s lofty economic aspirations.

This section highlights major education challenges and trends in developing Asia and the Pacific. Recognizing the evolving state of education in the region is vital for ADB, governments, and other development partners to properly align their education operations to developing member country needs.

  • Basic and Secondary Education

    Education is not just a concern for governments, but for students and parents, communities, and employers. It is critical for reducing poverty.

  • Technical and Vocational Education

    Developing Asia and the Pacific provides a rich array of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) experiences, but too often these have recorded only modest results.

  • Higher Education

    Countries in Asia and the Pacific are realizing that their economies cannot compete in a globalized world without a growing cadre of people with advanced degrees.

  • Education Reform

    In an expanding and diversifying sector, developing member countries (DMCs) need to implement reforms to strengthen governance.

  • Sustainable Financing

    Sustained investments in education are important for the productivity and resilience of economies. Funding for education is provided not only by the state, but also by households and the private sector.

  • Promoting Equity

    Unequal access to education in the region remains pronounced, beginning at the basic education level, and compounded at the secondary level and above.