NEWS

Improvement by the decade

In the first part of Table 1, the country’s population aged 10 and over is classified, numerically, by education level for the years 1971, 1981, 1991 and 2001. The second part has the equivalent percentage figures; the third part, the proportion of women at each educational level. The fourth section gives the average education level quotient. This is derived from the added percentages of those who have finished junior high divided by the added percentages of those who have not finished junior high. Thus, the added percentages of tertiary education graduates, secondary education graduates and junior high school leavers in 1971 comes to a total of 22.6 percent. For the same year, the percentage of primary school leavers, plus those who have not finished primary school, plus illiterates is 72.4 percent (see the second section, column one). The average education level of the country’s population aged 10 and over in 1971 is thus 22.6/77.4 = 0.29 (see fourth section of the first column). The second section of Table 1 shows that from one decade to the next, there was a constant rise, numerically and proportionally, of people attaining the first three education levels. At the same time, there was a constant decrease, numerically and proportionally, in the lowest three educational categories (apart from primary school leavers, who show a small rise in 1981 from 1971). That is, during the 30-year period between 1971-2001, there was a huge improvement in the education levels of the country’s actual population aged 10 and over. Taken separately, the decades show the following: – The greatest rise in the proportion of junior high school leavers took place in the decade 1971-1981, and for senior high school leavers, during 1981-1991. – The greatest reduction in the percentage of primary school leavers took place during 1991-2001 (also due to the drop in the birthrate in the previous decade), of the primary school dropout rate, during 1981-1991, and of illiterates, during 1991-2001. Overall during these 30 years, the percentages of those graduating from higher education institutes showed the greatest increase (over quadruple), followed by those finishing senior high (almost triple). The greatest reduction can be seen in those deemed illiterate (who dropped by almost a quarter). In the third part of the table, the proportion of females: – Dramatically increased among tertiary education graduates from one decade to the next, the most spectacular progress made by women in education. The greatest increase was seen during the 1970s. – Sharply increased during the 1970s among senior high school leavers, dropping slightly during the ’80s and rising again during the ’90s. – Increased among junior high school leavers in the 1980s, with a slight drop during the ’90s. – Showed small increases among primary school leavers. – Showed a huge increase among primary school leavers in the 1970s, with small rises in the next two decades. The percentage in 2001 is significantly higher than the percentage in 1971, due to the aging of the population and women’s greater longevity. – Showed a small rise among illiterates during the 1970s, a significant drop during the 1980s and only a small drop during the 1990s, due, again, to the fact that women tend to greater longevity. The fourth part of Table 1 clearly shows the rapid rise in average education level (over 50 percent per decade). The greatest increase took place in the 1990s. As a result, in 1971, 1981 and 1991 the percentage of junior high school leavers was lower than those who did not finish junior high school. In 2001, the ratio was reversed: Those who finished junior high outnumbered those who did not.