Effective management and utilization of fiscal, physical and human resources is of crucial importance in advancing the quality of basic education. In recent years, reforms of educational governance around the world have especially aimed to improve student learning outcomes by strengthening education accountability. However, reforms so far have overemphasized commanding and controlling teachers and schools. The equally important aspect of institutionalized support, albeit being part and parcel to a more comprehensive accountability relationship, is under-emphasized and underexplored. This paper examines these measures, especially in-service training, career advancement and communication among the stakeholders, as practiced in government middle schools of Beijing and Delhi, capital cities of India and China which have two of the largest basic education systems in the world. While the comparison reveals substantial variations in terms of the structure and providers of such support, common challenges within the two systems suggest that for the support to be effective and received positively, it needs to match the needs or incentives of the teacher recipients and advance their professional capacity.
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