Edition 134 - June 2012

Skills, not just diplomas: Managing education for results in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Sondergaard, L. et al. Skills, not just diplomas: Managing education for results in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-8213-8096-3. Pages: 270.

This publication grew out of the World Bank’s regional research programme, which identified skills mismatches as a significant barrier to growth in eastern European and central Asian (ECA) countries. For a region with a relatively high educational attainment and participation, shortage of skilled workers has emerged as a major obstacle to expansion of business. However, there is a profound lack of comparable data on whether graduates of upper secondary and tertiary institutions have the right skills and competencies for the job market.

Using a range of different data sources the authors argue that the skills problem in the ECA region relates more to the quality and relevance of the education provided than to problems of access. A central argument of the book is that ministries of education face three important and interrelated impediments to improving quality and relevance: lack of systematic data on key skills-related performance issues, the legacy of central planning, and inefficient use of resources.

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