How Economic Factors Influence Education Policy

There is a mutual relationship between the economy of a given nation and its education system. The type of education largely depends on the economic strength of any country because it determines the content and method of an education system. In indigenous traditional education, people were depending on the economic conditions and needs of the community. From an economic perspective, expenditure on education refers to the amount or percentage of national revenue spent on education by both individuals and the government. If the economic condition is poor, education becomes backwards in many aspects while if the economy of a country is strong, then education is given a special direction for making the country prosperous.

Economic Factors Affecting Education System

The quality of the education service provided depends on the economic strength of any country (economic factors determine the content and method of education).

Expenditure on education (percentage of national revenue spent on education) differs according to economic conditions. Economic development is not possible without a good education because a balanced education system not only promotes economic development, but also generates an individual per capita income. 

 The poorer classes in communities tend to be content with minimum education for their children, and the richer classes are known to be able to keep their children longest at school because they can afford to meet the costs. 

As such, this greatly affects the nature of the systems of education in terms of the content and methods in learning institutions and in essence the whole system of education.

Geographical Factors Affecting Education System

The geographical position has its inevitable impact on the culture, civilisation and education of a nation.

In this regard, the education and the school system are influenced by the geography of each region. The geography of a given area determines the type of building and facilities, the means and methods of transporting children to school, the age at which students begin their school etc. However, three major geographical aspects influence the educational system directly. These are, climatic conditions, population distribution and land configuration.

Climatic conditions 

a) Content of education depends on the continental climate, for example, training of doctors in the tropics is likely to focus more on tropical diseases.

b)Climatic conditions determine the way school buildings are designed.

c)Temperatures also affect the time at which schools can reasonably begin in the morning and when they end.

d)Climatic conditions also influence the education system in relation to time of vacations.

Population distribution 

a)Population is either concentrated in the urban centres, or scattered in the country side. For example Australia has two systems of education, that is, one for the urban areas and the other for rural areas. 

b)In the urban areas there are schools with adequately qualified teachers and administrative personnel. While in rural areas, schools are small with one teacher for ten up to forty students. This is because farms are far from the nearest schools and daily attendance is difficult. Therefore the central government is responsible for their administration and financing. The government also provides the means and organization of correspondence, tuition and travelling teachers. As such most students receive education through correspondence and occasional visits by the travelling education inspectors.

Land Configuration

Regarding land configuration, this also influences the education system in terms of the architectural structure of farmhouses, school buildings, village location and also the whole way of life and thinking of people because of the rigours of the climate, in some cases, because of the closeness of family ties, boarding schools for children are non-existence, except for the few who come from far and inaccessible places on daily basis. By and large land configuration determines the settlement and location of educational institutions.