Democratization And Decentralization In Education: What Is It When It Comes To Education

Democratization And Decentralization In Education

The way primary and higher education evolve is a matter of curiosity and concern.

The design of the course module and the way it is getting financed and delivered varies worldwide.

For example, the education system in France is a government-dominant centralized one. In contrast, Canada does not even have an education ministry.

The district administration in the United States handles educational welfare. However, during the late 1980s', the Colombian government has taken an initiation decentralizing the education system.

In fact, in Colombia, it is not just the government but the educational institutions that also hold crucial parts in driving decentralization in education.

As a matter of fact, both centralization and decentralization link to the democracy of the specified country. More precisely, the way people live there.

Besides, there are some other forces like the economic condition, cultures, and traditions of the country, economic climate, Etc.

As a result, these forces drive and impact decentralization and democratization concepts and practices in education.

Since the 1990s, many countries have been initiating decentralized education. Latin America and Europe have indeed embraced this phenomenon first. However, many Asian and African countries are recently instituting decentralization policies.

  • But what are Decentralization and Democratization in education?
  • How have these two policies become relevant in the education space?

Let's unlock!

What Is Decentralization In Education?

In education, "Decentralization" implies a specific procedure that shifts management and financial decision-making abilities.

Between whom?

The decision-making powers shifts between the central ministries of education and the local governments and schools.

Hence, the decision-making authority shifts from the central government to the beneficiary.

  • Due to the administrative decentralization, schools get loaded with many additional responsibilities.
  • The school autonomy takes part in school council elections and financial and other crucial educational decision-making. From now on, the school board of directors will decide anything related to education and students' welfare.

It is one type of decentralization in education.

Another kind is devolution.

Now What Happens In Devolution?

  • In the case of devolution, the decision-making powers shift from the central government to the local government.
  • The regional or state-level government takes hold of the educational responsibilities, from crucial decision-making to finance.
  • For instance, in India, the regional government holds education responsibilities.
  • The regional government body decides how much to spend on education versus other local services.
  • In rare cases, single-purpose governments take charge of additional education responsibilities. For example, the local school district in the USA.
  • Hence, it is clear that decentralization is an effective and efficient reform.

However, the decentralization and democratization policies vary from one country to another.

According to UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) Advanced Training Programme (2017-18),

"Countries across the world have adopted different models to structure and organize their education systems, as well as new approaches and processes in their management. The organizational structures of the central ministry of education, the degree of administrative decentralization, and institutional autonomy vary from country to country."

Also Read: Metaverse Learning

What Are The Promises Of Decentralization In Education?

Decentralized and democratized education policies come with promises that prove helpful for the local government bodies.

The national policy creators can reduce the financial burden on the shoulders of the regional government. Moreover, it ensures efficient management, a hike in students' academic achievements, and reforms in the commitment of local decision-makers and parents.


Methodical Education Reform

  • The local government bodies, schools, and colleges require resources and the rightful authority to refine the education system and schools.
  • The moment better decision-making gets closer to the beneficiaries, and it reforms the education or learning system.
  • When the local government bodies get the measures related to student's educational achievement, the quality of learning outcomes will heighten.
  • There is evidence that decentralization from the provincial government to school autonomy is inadequate for education reform overall.

For example,

  1. In the United States, the school teachers in the secondary school are very influential and significant at learning decision-making.
  2. The students' scores in languages and mathematics are also noticeably higher and consistent.
  3. If the top schools share their vision of learning goal and how to achieve it, the district government will find it easier to make decisions.
  4. But, the top-performing schools are reluctant to share their decision-making approaches with the comparatively low-performance schools.
  5. Consequently, the discrimination in students' performance is evident in that state.
  6. If the power transforms from the central government body to the local body, this challenge will not live any longer.

Liability Springs From Self-Made Decisions

  • Decentralization and Democratization policies ensure a hike in local government participation in school management authority.
  • It will expose them to the student's current learning requirements.
  • When they know what students these days require to improve learning, the local government will set the budget accordingly.
  • This kind of awareness will bridge the gap between the school authority and government, fostering the better use of resources.
  • A decentralized education system will also enable the government to make data-based decision-making. They will become sure that their investment is going the right way.
  • Moreover, parents and schools come closer, ensuring better learning within the classroom and outside the classroom.
  • The school authorities will strengthen their bond with the guardians and make better learning decisions.

Better Learning Achievement

  • Decentralized education magnifies and fosters school management reforms.
  • It leads to seamless and unified classroom instruction enabling students to make their performance better than ever before.
  • So, decentralization in education allows highly qualified teachers to navigate with better resources, instructions, and learning modules in the classroom. Moreover, the education system gets mingled with parent feedback and innovative ideas.
  • It will, for sure, hike students' performance overall.


Decentralization and democratization in education are effective for making the learning outcome better.

According to this policy, the learning process belongs to the society and its people rather than the central government.

However, the success of decentralization in education is not that easier.

Strong leadership, transparent and shared education vision and comprehensive yet strategic planning are the three things that make it successful.

There are another fuel driving decentralization in education: the leverage of advanced technology.

A decentralized education platform fits perfect for keeping decentralized in education policies up-to-date.

Connect with Edverse to learn more about decentralized education platform and how to merge it with decentralized education policies.