This indicator measures a government’s commitment to basic education for girls in terms of access, enrollment, and retention. MCC uses this indicator for Scorecard LICs only.
Relationship to Growth & Poverty Reduction
Universal basic education is an important determinant of economic growth and poverty reduction. Empirical research consistently shows a strong positive correlation between girls’ primary education and accelerated economic growth, slower population growth, higher wages, increased agricultural yields and labor productivity, and greater returns to schooling as compared to men. 1 A large body of literature also shows that increasing a mother’s schooling has a large effect on her child’s health, schooling, and adult productivity, an effect that is more pronounced in poor households. 2 By one estimate, providing girls one extra year of education beyond the average can boost eventual wages by 10-20 percent. 3 The social benefits of female education are also demonstrated through lower fertility rates, higher immunization rates, decreased child and maternal mortality, reduced transmission of HIV, fewer cases of domestic violence, greater educational achievement by children, and increased female participation in government. 4
The Girls’ Primary Education Completion Rate indicator is measured as the gross intake ratio into the last grade of primary, a proxy for primary completion. This is measured as the total number of female students enrolled in the last grade of primary (regardless of age), minus the number of female students repeating the last grade of primary, divided by the total female population of the standard entrance age of the last grade of primary. The primary completion rate reflects the primary cycle as defined by the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED), ranging from three or four years of primary education (in a very small number of countries) to five or six years (in most countries), to seven years (in a small number of countries). For the countries that changed their primary cycle, the most recent ISCED primary cycle is applied consistently to the whole series. For FY18, MCC will use the most recent UNESCO data from 2011—2016.