With respect to investment in education, two important questions need to be examined. The first is concerned with the amount to be invested in primary and secondary schools, and the institutions of higher learning, and the second relates to the distribution of total costs among the state, private institutions, and those who receive education.
This short article first evaluates the existing formal educational system in Sierra Leone with the help of the cost-benefit technique. In order to obtain guidelines for future investment policies the internal social rates of return are computed for the various levels of education. Then the supply and demand of trained personnel are estimated for the period 1975–9 on the basis of the following classification: (i) high level (those with university education), (ii) middle level (those with some secondary education and technical/vocational training), and (iii) primary- and secondary-school teachers. The projections show that shortages will occur in all three groups during the next five years, above all at the middle level where a 70 per cent increase in the expected supply will be necessary to meet the requirements.