Education and Unemployment

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Edgar O. Edwards and Michael P. Todaro argue that it is not useful to have post-literacy education in developing countries, since the number of unemployed has been rising as the number of the educated.| |


1. In your own opinions, suggest how you can manipulate the supply of educational opportunities as a policy variable. 2. Suggest policy considerations for the government in respect to educational expansions. 3. State the implications for international donor agencies.

Edgar Edwards and Michael Todaro argue that an investment in education past the literacy stage is an investment in idle resources. They have some good and bad arguments and below, I am going to critique their arguments critiquing their points with the help of facts, statistics and logical reason. Their main argument is that an investment in education is an investment in idle resources, since the number of unemployed has been rising as the number of people who pursue post-literacy education.

The two writers have both good and not so good points in their argument against post-literacy education. Firstly, by saying that “the average level of education among the unemployed and underemployed appears to be rising, suggesting that the growing investment in educational systems is increasing an investment in idle resources”, it’s actually true. The average number of people who have pursued education higher than the primary school level, in this case, the literacy level, has been rising over the past few years. The table below shows the trends, as compiled by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics and UNESCO. | 1999| 2000| 2001| 2002| 2003| 2004| 2005| 2006| 2007| Primary School| 6,078,024| 6,078,024| 5,941,610| 6,062,742| 7,159,523| 7,394,763| 7,591,528| 7,632,113| 8,229,266| Secondary School| 724,758| 762,414| 753,525| 781,601| 882,513|...
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