Thinking Aloud: Volume III, Issue 2: July 1, 2016
The July, 2016 issue of Thinking Aloud comes with the theme of ‘education and human capital development’. The first article titled ‘Does institution matter for human capital development?’ emphasizes on difference in institutional capabilities among the countries and its bearing on human capital development. Analysis of this article, using a cross-country panel data, suggests that better economic and political institutions matter for human capital development. The article advocates that while countries need to make critical spending for human capital development, improvement in institutional environment is unequivocally essential. The second article on ‘How pervasive is regional disparity in primary education in Bangladesh?’ constructs an Education Development Index (EDI) related to primary education development for 483 sub-districts in Bangladesh and identifies the lagging regions for potential policy interventions. In the construction of EDI, the article uses 19 sub-parameters under five broad parameters namely access, infrastructure, quality, gender equity and outcome. The analysis from the study highlights that, opportunities for good quality primary education in Bangladesh are limited by inequalities associated with wealth, location, ethnicity, gender, and other factors. The paper thus suggests to address the issues of poor quality of education, high dropout rates, promotion of equity and accessing education, and targeted programs for lagging regions. In this issue, SANEM presents interviews of two scholars from two distinct areas: Professor Dr. Shamsul Alam, Member, General Economic Division of Planning Commission, Bangladesh and Dr. Selim Jahan, Director, Human Development Report Office, UNDP, New York, where they talk on human capital development and challenges for countries like Bangladesh. Finally, the fourth page covers various events of SANEM in the month of June 2016.