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Importance of Cooperation: How to Improve the Quality of Education through Game Theory

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Importance:

The topic I picked to further explore is quality education. Human beings are born as “a piece of paper,” and then they write unique things onto the “paper” to live a meaningful life, as a scientist, businessman, doctor, lawyer and so on.

Problem:

All these things require proper guidance from educational institutions, which is to say a quality education is rather important for human development. Sadly, this quality of education is not distributed equally throughout the world. In fact, some places lack sufficient education quality to make appropriate guidance. As a source shows:

  1. Players: The participation rate in early childhood and primary education: “lowest rates are found in sub-Saharan Africa (41 percent) and Northern Africa and Western Asia (52 percent),” all the while the global average is found at 70% in 2016;
  2. 58% of the adults are not achieving the minimum bar for abilities to read and do mathematics;
  3. Many other examples too…
Education as a Root of Inequality

The video above was produced by Harvard Gazette and provides further and more detailed explanations as to why education plays such a huge role in the inequality of the current society.

The quality of education and the number of students who have the opportunities to get sufficient education resources are on the list of urgent issues for solutions. Therefore, with the conference project below, I am looking into, specifically, how the relationship between school and education policymakers can make a difference in terms of the kind of education students receive.

Assumptions:

My assumption in this study is that the corporation between education policymakers and schools is important for improving the quality of education and the number of students who go to schools until a certain age. The following modeling process showcases the different outcomes of the different strategies each of the two participants decides to use.

Modeling:

1. Players:

  • 1) Schools;
  • 2) Educational Policy Makers.

2. Strategies available:

Schools:

  • A: Spend budgets for education-related activities;
  • B: Spend budgets for ads, and attract more students to attend;
  • C: Spend budgets for non-education-or-promotion-related activities.

Educational Policy Makers:

  • A: Offer a huge portion of the taxes collected for schools;
  • B: Use the taxes available to enforce student under a specific grade to attend schools;
  • C: Give up on the quality education and use all the excessive taxes for other governmental spendings.

3. How each of the strategies is reflected in the form as utility?

  • 1: there are few factors that I am considering when assigning utility values: achievement of minimum reading and mathematical abilities (+2); the quality of education received by students (+2); number of students attending school (+1); policies failing to achieve any of the above goals (-2); policies that have a direct intention of ignoring the importance of education (-4);
  • 2: Specific assignments:
    • Schools: A (+2), B (+1), C (-2);
    • Policy makers: A (+2), B (+3), C (-6).

4. The combinations of these values would be meaningful, as the funding received by the schools from the policymakers would determine how well they will conduct each of the strategies. Adjustments are made as to how well the schools achieve certain of their strategies affected by the fundings provided by the policymakers. The assumption is that the policymakers gain a really bad reputation as the quality of education diminishes, vice versa.

Matrix:

PolicyMakers
ABC
SchoolsA
(3, 4)(2, 3)
(1, -1)
B(1, 2)(2, 1)(0, -3)
C(-1, 2)(-2, -2)(-2, -6)

Solution:

Conclusion:

In this project, I investigated the topic of study-quality education. I queried for a solution to the problem by looking into how the relationship between educational policymakers and schools can result in a different level of quality of education. I reached the conclusion that the optimal case can only be achieved when both the policymakers are doing what is appropriate for improving the quality of education together.

Specifically, I pictured a game in which there are two players, namely the schools and the policy makers. Each of them has three different options of what to do, each of them would indicate one of the following or more: 1). To improve the quality of education; 2). To attract a larger number of students; 3). To do something not related to promoting education. Only when both parties attempt to improve the quality of education together can the quality of education actually improve. A relatively good result may be achieved when one improved the educational quality while the other promotes for more students.

Each of the players is receiving some rewards, known as the payoffs, on their respective perspectives. For the schools, the payoffs are higher when it succeeds in doing a better job teaching more students. For the policymakers, they receive higher payoffs when the schools are doing a good job since they will have a better reputation in this case.

As a result, we get to know that a good quality of education of schools in a given region/country is a collective effort of both schools and the governmental policy makers, as is revealed by the presented project.

Proposal:

One suggestion based on the study above is to create a board of educational arrangements that involve the participation of both the schools’ representatives and the educational policymakers. Because of what the project reveals, the communications between the schools and the policymakers would help to achieve the best payoffs for both parties.

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