While South Asia’s large and rapidly growing youth population offers the promise of a more productive economy, concerns about the ability of education and skills training to adequately prepare youth for the job market are dampening the optimism.
The JustJobs Network (JJN) and UNICEF will examine the relationship between secondary education systems and labor market outcomes in South Asia to assess how secondary education systems can better prepare young women and men for the world of work and introduce them to a range of options: higher education, wage or self-employment. In addition to looking at the quality of secondary education systems and the extent to which it impacts labor market outcomes at a regional level, the research will also conduct a case study of secondary education in Bangladesh.
Since there is no standard way of measuring education quality, JJN and UNICEF will evaluate curriculums and learning outcomes on a case by case basis. The project will unpack the different components of education quality such as retention, enrolment and completion rates. The project will demonstrate gaps in access and outcomes of learning for ‘vulnerable youth’ in both the overall regional study and Bangladesh case study component. The project will also explore ‘alternative learning pathways’ for secondary education. This will help us to gauge the impact of ‘non-formal’ education in facilitating labor market participation of the youth.