Pre-primary education policy between formulation and implementation: the case of Bangladesh

Profeta, Michela (2014) Pre-primary education policy between formulation and implementation: the case of Bangladesh. Doctoral thesis (EdD), University of Sussex.

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Why does the implementation of policies for educational improvement often disappoint? The literature suggests that pitfalls in the formulation stage can hamper successful implementation. This research aims to develop insights into the process of policy formulation in order to establish how this may affect subsequent policy implementation using a case study of Pre-Primary Education in Bangladesh. Uniquely, I have been able to study the development of PPE policy when it was taking place since I was directly involved in the process as a professional advisor working for a donor.

The first research question investigated how the pre-primary policy was formed. This had two parts in terms of i) developing understanding of the phases of policy formulation and the stakeholders involved, and ii) analysing the discourses that informed the policy. The second research question enquired into the development of the implementation strategy and its feasibility, and compared expectations with the data available on the characteristics and impact of the initial implementation. This enabled the identification of aspects of policy formulation that shape current and future implementation. Special attention was given to the development of policy that prioritised underprivileged children throughout the process, because of the extent of unequal provision and because this was a high profile goal for educational development.

The analysis of policy development derived from relevant policy documents and keyinformant interviews highlighted charismatic and politicised approaches to educational reform, which lacked the involvement of beneficiaries and those tasked with implementation. This has consequences for subsequent impact and the sustainability of the new policy. The initial implementation was generally considered inadequate and uneven by the respondents. It reflected aspirational planning linked to the EFA goals, with ambitious aims to provide a "quantitative breakthrough" in access and attainment without a realistic assessment of the resources available and the capacity to mobilise them.

When the implementation strategy was updated and included in the third national programme of primary education (PEDP III), a more phased and comprehensive approach to planning was introduced. However, reports on programme implementation have identified delays and difficulties in starting PEDP III, albeit improvements between year 1 and 2 have been noted. In particular, the implementation strategies identified were insufficiently detailed and different stakeholders' needs were not properly assessed. More equitable delivery to underprivileged children remains poorly articulated. Part of the reason appears to be diminished political will and inconsistent leadership. Finally, opportunities to collaborate with the NGO service providers have not been fully exploited and the implementation planning for PEDP III appeared to have relied excessively on external expertise, with implications for the ownership and continuity of the policy on pre-school.

Based on these findings, suggestions are offered to the development partners, the Government and the NGOs to improve the integration of policy and implementation strategies to increase the probability of sustained improvements in Pre Primary provision.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1140 Preschool education. Nursery schools
L Education > LG Individual institutions (Asia. Africa. Oceania) > LG021 Asia > LG060 India. Pakistan. Bangladesh. Burma (Republic of the Union of Myanmar). Sri Lanka. Nepal
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 14:32
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2015 13:55

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