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July 2014

Do we have any idea how to get kids into school?

Donald Baum's picture
 Arne Hoel/ World Bank
In the seven years between 2000 and 2007, the world undertook a massive push to increase enrollments for all children in primary school. This organized effort was successful in reducing the worldwide number of out-of-school children by 40%. Surely, for many, the hope (and even the expectation) at that time was for a fast-approaching elimination of this global dilemma.
 
So, what of our progress in the last seven years?

Are Great Teachers Born or Made?

Claudia Costin's picture
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Did you have a favorite teacher at school? What made that teacher so special? Teachers are the single most important resource we have to ensure that children learn. But the reality is that many kids across the world don’t get a good quality education.

Measuring the Economic Cost of Child Marriage

Quentin Wodon's picture


Today the U.K. government and UNICEF jointly hosted the first Girl Summit to mobilize efforts to end child, early, and forced marriage as well as female genital mutilation. According to a 2013 report by UNICEF, 30 million girls are at risk of suffering genital mutilation  over the next decade. Recent reports by UNFPA and UNICEF suggest that more than one-third of girls are married before age 18.
 
The incidence of child marriage is dropping, but only slowly. In many countries, laws have been adopted to prevent marriage below 18 years of age, but they are often not well-enforced and more needs to be done. There is widespread consensus that child marriage violates the rights of girls, limits their school attainment, learning, and future earnings, and has negative impacts on their’ health and that of their children. Child marriage clearly contributes to poverty and limits economic growth. And yet the practice continues to be perceived mostly as a social issue, not an economic one.

Why Engage the Private Education Sector?

Harry A. Patrinos's picture
Why Engage the Private Education Sector?

In my view, if we are really interested in Learning For All, it is important to consider the role of the private sector in education.  It is not private provision per se that we at the World Bank are interested in – the World Bank remains the world’s largest source of multilateral funds supporting public education in middle and low income countries around the world  – but rather what we can learn from private education providers who are innovating and adding value.  The World Bank's efforts in this space are organized around ways to explore and better understand private provision of various kinds in a deeper light.

Political Will and Stakeholder Engagement: What Do We Know About the Political Economy of Education Systems?

Harry A. Patrinos's picture


Our schools are central to the mission of building knowledge societies.  Yet, we don’t know enough about how teachers and schools are being influenced by the social forces around them.  Organizing schools, creating systems of accountability, and focusing on results that matter for parents involve actions outside the school system. 

Education reform is often thwarted by forces that affect policy design, finance and implementation.  These political economy issues are often acknowledged, but rarely systematically addressed in research or policy dialogue.

Keeping our eyes on the goal of learning for all

Elizabeth King's picture


The World Cup games being played in Brazil send a hopeful message that teams from Ghana, Nigeria, Ecuador and Honduras can qualify to play against much better funded teams from Europe and North America. Talent, hard work, ambition and years of building a team can make a winner of teams from poorer nations – at least, enough to feed the dreams of a boy in the favelas of Rio or the slums of Lagos.

The appearance of Vietnam last year in the PISA league tables with scores above the OECD average also sent a hopeful message that even those countries with less than half the average GDP per capita in the OECD countries can do well by its students. As with football or soccer, talent, hard work, ambition and effort at building a competent teacher force can improve student performance dramatically.  If a country focuses on one education goal with the fervor that nations, teams and individuals devote to the World Cup, focusing their best talent and resources as needed, could it not achieve such an important goal by 2030?