Barrier

Resources

Three kinds of resource are necessary for delivery of quality formal and non-formal primary education programs: Human resources, Material resources and Financial resources. These are defined below.

Resources

Resources Barrier

EAC priority countries have been selected due to their large number of OOSC, and this correlates in most cases with low GDP per capita, recovery from conflict, and inadequate teacher development.

Resources Barrier

If the content delivered by a primary school or school system is not of high quality, there is no incentive for families to send children to school, for children to attend regularly, or for children to persist with education.

Resources Barrier

Lack of financial resources devoted to education can act as a barrier to any child seeking a primary education.

Each resource, how it acts as a barrier, and how this is being addressed by EAC partners is further explored.

Human resources

There is a full range of human resources that are essential for success.  These resources include planners, administrators, teachers, mentors, managers, and support staff.  Here, we focus on teachers as one of the critical aspects of human resource commitment.

Study after study shows that quality teaching is the most powerful factor in student learning. There are three critical domains of supportive interactions in good teaching: emotional support, organizational support and instructional support.

Emotional support includes

  1. Positive connection of teacher and students,
  2. Low level of negativity expressed by teacher and students,
  3. Teacher sensitivity to students’ needs,
  4. Teacher regard for students’ interests, motivations, and points of view

Organizational support includes

  1. Behavior management
  2. Classroom productivity

Instructional support includes

  1. Learning strategies - how teachers engage students in activities and facilitate activities so that learning opportunities are maximized,
  2. Concept development - how teachers use instructional discussions and activities to promote students’ higher-order thinking skills and cognition,
  3. Quality of feedback - how teachers extend students’ learning through their participation in activities,
  4. Language modeling - the extent to which teachers facilitate and encourage students' language development

The ways in which the absence of teacher quality is a disincentive, particularly to school completion and contributes to pushing students out of school and adding to OOSC numbers, is further explored in Human Resources. [links reader to page 7a)

Material resources

Both the availability and quality of materials can be barriers to a quality education.

In many countries there are insufficient basic materials such as blackboards and chalk, textbooks, teacher support materials, student workbooks, and supplementary learning aids.  They may be unavailable due to lack of financial resources to publish and transport them, lack of human resources to develop them and/or make them appropriate, and or due to geographical barriers that make delivery untimely or impossible.

A key element in delivery of quality primary education is the quality of material resources for delivery of content. This is reflected in relevance and design of the curriculum and learning materials available for acquisition of basic skills in the areas of literacy, numeracy and skills for life, and knowledge in such areas as gender, health, nutrition, HIV/AIDS prevention and peace. (See characteristics of quality education as defined by UNICEF, listed in Further Reading).

How low quality in material resources is a disincentive to school participation and completion is explored more in Material Resources. [links reader to page 7b)

Financial resources

The most important source of financing for education comes from sources within a country/domestic sources.

The majority of OOSC live in economically poor countries.  In recent years, these countries have suffered further from the impact of the global economic crisis.  Even in many of those countries where the domestic spending on education is a significant and respectable percentage of GDP, the actual amount of money available is insufficient to provide a quality education to those children who are in school, let alone those who are excluded.

External funding to education can play a critical role in filling funding gaps and as a means to serve as a catalyst to provide resources for those who are underserved in a given country.

(Note—family financial resources are discussed earlier in this section of the site.)

Why the lack of financial resources acts as a barrier to education is explored more in Financial Resources. [links reader to page 7c)

Further reading