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​Decentralised education provision promises to be
more efficient, better reflect local priorities, encourage
participation, and, eventually, improve coverage and quality.
In particular, governments with severe fiscal constraints are
enticed by the potential of decentralisation to increase
efficiency. There is currently a global trend of decentralising
education systems. Most countries are experimenting with
or contemplating some form of education decentralisation.
The process transfers decision-making powers from central
Ministries of Education to intermediate governments, local
governments, communities, and schools. The extent of the
transfer varies, however, from administrative deconcentration to much broader transfer of financial control
to the regional or local level. While there are solid
theoretical justifications for decentralising education
systems, the process requires strong political commitment
and leadership in order to succeed.
There is ongoing debate about the appropriate locus of
decision making within the education sector. The debate
remains unresolved because the process requires that policy
makers rationalise and harmonise a complex set of
complementary functions, mainly: curriculum design,
teaching methods, student evaluation, textbook production
and distribution, teacher recruitment and pay, school
construction and rehabilitation, education financing, and
parent-teacher linkages. Countries around the world,
particularly transition economies, have gone through a
significant decentralisation of their government structures in
recent decades. Decentralisation is generally defined as the
transfer of certain administrative and fiscal functions or
powers of a central authority to several local authorities.
Arguments for the benefits of decentralisation and certain
empirical evidence led to a widespread decentralisation
trend particularly among transition economies. This
contrasts with metropolitan statistical areas, which usually
do not conform to political jurisdictions. Our results show
that government organisation matters for local economic