This report offers a comparative analysis of education systems, policies, inputs, and outcomes in six partner countries of the Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities (SHLC). They include Bangladesh, India, the Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa, and Tanzania.

Data was collected from reports on national and urban policies prepared by each partner for their respective cities and countries and supplemented, where necessary, with information from global databases and other secondary sources.

The analysis shows that the current education situation in SHLC case study countries reinforces the existing disparities across groups in urban areas and creates new barriers and gaps as learners in more affluent neighbourhoods have sustained access to better opportunities for socio-economic advancement whereas public schools may limit such opportunities and keep people trapped in a cycle of poverty.

Following the introduction:

  • Section 2 provides an overview of historical legacies that shaped SHLC case study countries’ development trajectory and education as well as the shifts in education over time.
  • Section 3 outlines the structure of the national education systems in the six countries the study focuses on and the institutions that govern education in these countries.
  • Section 4 presents key laws, policies, and regulations the countries have in place to guide the provision and quality of formal education.
  • Section 5 examines the financing of and resource allocation for education.
  • Section 6 discusses the availability of various learning opportunities to different groups of learners, including access to educational institutions and alternative programmes and retention/dropout rates.
  • Section 7 explores the quality of education and related services critical for educational provision available in each partner country.
  • Section 8 compares education outcomes by exploring five general trends that emerge from the national reports: improved enrolment, higher completion rates, improved literacy, greater gender equity, and improved student to teacher ratios.
  • Section 9 offers highlights of the comparative findings.
  • The final section offers potential avenues for further research.