children playing

Social justice indicators in the OECD: How do the member states compare?

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version
Sustainable Governance Indicators 2011
Publication Date: 
27 Oct 2011


Access to Education... "Canada has many strengths in the education area, including: the OECD's highest proportion of the population aged 20-64 with post-secondary education, a number of world-class universities, a high completion rate for high school, and very high PISA scores." At the same time, while Canada achieves good scores in terms of educational justice, there is still room for improvement in some specific areas: "Probably the biggest deficiency in education policy has been the failure to reduce the gap in educational attainment between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations."


Ideally, an education system should, in addition to facilitating equal opportunity, result in strong academic performance, as is the case in Canada and Finland.

Investing in early childhood education is therefore a key component of efforts to level the playing field in this regard. The need for action to be taken on this front is great in several OECD states. Moreover, it is important that funding for social transfers not be pit against infrastructure funding if a society is to create the material conditions needed to lift disadvantaged children out of their precarious situation. Unfortunately, there is no sound or complete data on the quality of early childhood education internationally. Consequently, the Justice Index must refer instead to a quantitative indicator measuring the level of public spending on early childhood education, which allows at least an estimation of the financial priority given the issue by a government.