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Publication Detail
Has Our Level of Education Increased?
Recent decades have witnessed a pronounced rise in educational participation rates. This is true for post-compulsory education among 16 to 18 year-olds and higher education, as well as early education among 0 to 4 year-olds. The rise in educational participation has occurred throughout the post-war period, with growth bursts following institutional reforms such as the rise of the minimum school leaving age in 1972. Over the post-war period, girls caught up and then overtook boys in participations rates. However, it is not evident that these increases in educational participation also imply enhanced skills and knowledge levels. While examination results have shown marked improvements over the years, recent international test score data exhibit a greater degree of stability over the last few years. In the absence of acceptable benchmarks, it remains highly suspect to compare learning outcomes over time.
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