Expanding Opportunities and Building Competencies for Young People: A New Agenda for Secondary Education

This paper explores the key issues facing secondary education in the 21st century. In the global development community where gains and successes are always hard-won, providing youngsters with a dynamic education that takes them from primary to tertiary education and beyond and that helps spur economic growth is surely one of the best investments a country can make, especially when it is equally available to all young people regardless of gender, income, or ethnic group. The challenges are two-fold: to increase access to secondary education and, at the same time, to improve the quality and relevance of secondary education. These challenges must be met in the constantly changing environment of globalization and a technology-based knowledge society.

Secondary education is the highway between primary schooling, tertiary education and the labour market. Its ability to connect these destinations and take young people where they want to go in life is crucial. Based on surveys of education specialists around the world, this book puts forth policy alternatives and options to assist policymakers in developing countries and transition economies as they expand, reform, and transform their secondary education systems for a brighter future.

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