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Administration, Finance, & Educational Research

As mentioned, the Ministry of Education manages the public education system with some administrative and local decisions devolved to governorates, districts, and individual schools.

Government spending on education rose steadily during the 1990s as a combined result of greater focus on education, the need for improved and increased facilities as the population grew, and as increased income, especially from oil, provided some additional funds. In the early 1990s, unification brought the need for short-term higher spending to cover the costs of integrating the two education systems. Also, there had been an immediate education emergency in late 1990, almost immediately after unification of the YAR and PDRY, when almost one million Yemeni workers were expelled from the Gulf. This included about 150,000 school-aged children who suddenly flooded the education system, which in turn was financially stretched by the return of the parents who were usually unemployed.

For the most recent years available, total expenditure on education in Yemen as a percentage of Gross National Product (GNP) was 6.2 percent in 1993, 6.3 percent in 1994, 5.4 percent in 1995, 6.3 percent in 1996, and 7.0 percent in 1997. This strong growth was hampered by the civil war of 1994, after which the reconstruction process called on enormous finances to the detriment of education.

The country also suffered economic setbacks after the war. However, by 2001 spending should have reached the government's target of 8 percent or higher, although the figure is not yet available. Since the early 1990s, this spending has represented more than 20 percent of government expenditure, and, during that decade, the figure increased towards 25 percent.

Within these figures, current expenditure represented a large but falling proportion: 95.6 percent was current expenditure in 1993, 97.3 percent in 1994, 94.7 percent in 1995, 89.9 percent in 1996, and 80.1 percent in 1997. The decline may be accounted for, in part, by an increased emphasis during this time on improved public infrastructure and new education facilities.

Excessive bureaucracy in the administration of education has long been an issue. In the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, like many Arab states, both Yemens had developed a strong and influential bureaucracy to support modernization and government social initiatives; in the PDRY, a strong bureaucracy developed in line with a strong and penetrative nation-state, and in the YAR the republic era saw a strengthened bureaucracy, partly stemming from the Egyptian modernization influence in the 1960s. Recent agreements between Yemen and the IMF have included the reduction of bureaucracy and greater administrative efficiency, including in the education system, as important components.

Additional topics

Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceYemen - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education