HUMAN CAPITAL THEORY AND EDUCATIONAL POLICY STRATEGIES IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: A RETROSPECTIVE OVERVIEW
Human capital theory is a powerful, and yet also viewed as a narrowly conceived, understanding of the benefits of education to individuals and society. For many years since its proper formulation in the early part of 1960, during which time education has been modelled as investment leading to economic growth and development, the theory has informed government policies in education and attracted criticism and generated debate over the tension concerning who benefits from education and how education should be organised and funded. This article reviews the influence of the theory in the education policy strategies of sub-Saharan Africa from the â€˜manpower planningâ€™ era, through the â€˜rate of returnâ€™ era, the â€˜endogenous growth and endogenous developmentâ€™ tenets and the debates over â€˜quality versus attainmentâ€™. These are all discussed in relation to educational access, expansion, finance and curriculum relevance.
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