Primary schooling for all: An analysis of expansion and intersectoral linkages

Subbarao Venkata Ilapavuluri, University of Pennsylvania


This cross-national study of the development of primary education in 146 countries focuses on identifying important determinants of institutional expansion and cross-sectoral linkages. The study includes two analytic components. First, the author traces the evolution of primary schooling in selected countries as an institution from the informal socialization in the family to the formal institutionalized setting of the school. He finds that the expansion of a country's primary education system is found to be closely connected with the rise of the nation-state and modernization. Primary education tends to develop in tandem with other modern institutions such as health care, communications, and social amenities, such as access to safe water and sanitation. Second, the author explores the relationship between education and other developmental processes, using a quantitative analysis of the distinguishing features of countries that have been more and less successful in creating an internally efficient and universally accessible primary schooling system for school-aged children. Time series and panel regression analyses are used to examine the inter-relationship between primary education development and economic development over time. Using data from selected Asian countries, the author explores the hypothesis that primary education and national development have progressed in tandem. In this area, the author finds that the key factors influencing primary education development across all countries are: (a) the country's extent of economic development; (b) the level of financial resources it commits to education; and (c) the levels of adult literacy in the home and the community. The study indicates the importance for educational development of strong linkages between primary education and the health sector—especially child health and population policy—as well as widespread access to basic amenities like water and sanitation. The study also documents the role of primary education in improving the overall quality of life in a nation, even after controlling for economic development, suggesting that there may be complementarity between policies aimed at promoting educational development and other social and economic goals.

Subject Area

Elementary education|Social structure

Recommended Citation

Ilapavuluri, Subbarao Venkata, "Primary schooling for all: An analysis of expansion and intersectoral linkages" (1998). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9913475.