New Research Reveals Best Investments to Tackle Learning Crisis in Vulnerable Countries
The UK, the World Bank and partners launch a new report authored by leading global education experts that identifies cost-effective ways to improve global learning and tackle learning crisis that has been compounded by coronavirus.
- Nine out of ten children in low income countries cannot read a story by age 10 and the coronavirus pandemic has compounded this global learning crisis as schools have been forced to close.
- The report follows the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings that warned of the huge setbacks that COVID-19 will have on education progress without concerted, sustained action, and comes ahead of a major global education summit – co-hosted by the UK next year – that will raise funds to get children into school.
The report sets out the best investments to improve the quality and take-up of education in developing countries, and those which do not necessarily represent good value for money. It comes as the world faces a learning crisis, with the coronavirus pandemic forcing more than 1.6 billion children out of their classrooms at the peak of school closures.
Speaking ahead of the virtual launch, the UK’s Special Envoy for Girls’ Education, Baroness Sugg said:
"Coronavirus is not only the biggest global health and economic threat we’ve faced in a lifetime - it is also an unprecedented education crisis."
"Even before the pandemic struck, nine out of 10 children in low income countries were unable to read a story by age 10. Without action, this will get worse."
"That is why it is more important than ever that we invest wisely to get children learning again. The UK and the World Bank have brought together world-leading expertise to highlight the best ways to educate children today, so we can transform the world of tomorrow."
To improve learning, build back better from coronavirus and deliver value for money, the report identifies “best buys” including:
- tailoring teaching based on ability and learning level, rather than age or grade, and providing extra catch-up support to help children falling behind;
- increasing investments in pre-primary education, to halt the learning disparity seen by age 5 between low and higher-income households;
- developing structured lesson plans with teacher mentoring and training
- providing merit-based scholarships to disadvantaged children to help them stay in school;
- informing parents about the benefits of sending their children to school and the choices available to them; and
- working to reduce travel times to schools.