Syndicate content

Blogs

Reaching Children and Youth Stranded by the Ebola Crisis

Claudia Costin's picture
 
Children in the town of Gueckedou, Guinea, an area hard hit by the Ebola outbreak. Photo credits: ©afreecom/Idrissa Soumaré  EU/ECHO


​In a part of Sub-Saharan Africa where life is far from easy for most people, the Ebola epidemic is the most devastating event in a generation. With per capita incomes ranging between $400 and $700 a year, people living in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone can ill afford Ebola’s terrible toll on survival, health, and livelihoods. World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim was in West Africa last week to pledge our ongoing support to these countries to help them reach the goal of zero Ebola cases. 

More than 5 million children are out of school indefinitely due to the crisis, and the number is even larger if university-age students are taken into account.  But the crisis is not just the downtime for these millions of students of all ages affected by school and university closures. Its full magnitude is revealed in the loss of learning and the opportunities for progress that are forgone with each passing day.

You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure

Harry A. Patrinos's picture


When it comes to measuring student learning outcomes, you often hear critics refrain “you can’t fatten a cow by weighing him all the time,” in an attempt to say that you cannot truly educate students by spending all the time getting ready for testing and recording test scores. Of course not. But as the management guru Peter Drucker famously said, “If you can't measure it, you can't manage it.”

Education for a Creative Economy: The Case of Korea

Claudia Costin's picture



As countries strive to grow, build well-being and fight inequality, it is clear that education must adapt to changing global needs. This is true in all country contexts, including in advanced economies such as the Republic of Korea, where a high-performing education system already turns out skilled students who top the charts in international learning assessments such as PISA and TIMMS.

Palestinian Refugee Students Attending UN Schools Outperform Peers

Harry A. Patrinos's picture


Photo courtesy UNRWA

Palestine refugee students continually and consistently outperform public school students by a margin equivalent to more than one additional year of learning. How does a disadvantaged group maintain such a high achievement level? One factor that is important in explaining this result is the concept of resilience. Resilience starts with adversity. The capacity for resilience in people helps negotiate adversities with the support of relevant opportunities and services.

A Free Online Course on Early Childhood Development

Quentin Wodon's picture


“The child who has gone to a preschool can study in primary school with more ease than a child who joins a primary school directly.” Unfortunately, “preschool fees range from 50,000 to 150,000 Shillings (US$ 20-60) per term of three months. Most parents cannot afford this, so many of them wait until their children are of age to start primary school.” 

These quotes from Ugandan villages illustrate how parents value investments in young children, but often cannot afford them. The same is true for healthcare and nutrition. Early years are essential for children’s development. The reality is that investments in early childhood development (ECD) remain low in most countries, in part because of the complexity of the field. ECD policies and programs are managed by multiple public and private service providers, regulatory agencies, and ministries. It is of course not necessary for everyone to be experts on all matters related to ECD, but more awareness of the comprehensive nature of these investments would help in improving ECD programs and marshalling more resources towards them.

Extreme Poverty is More than Just Living on $1.25 a Day

Quentin Wodon's picture


“I want my children to be able to go to school. I don't want them to suffer like me.” Little by little this dream disappears as a piece of sugar, as water that runs through your hands. The long lists of material, a simple button that is missing on a shirt, this can be the end of a dream for learning to read and write.

 

Kids Should Focus on Learning, Not On Their Empty Stomachs

Andy Chi Tembon's picture
Have you ever tried to concentrate on an empty stomach? On World Food Day, we reflect on the link between healthy and nourished children and its effects on learning. Healthy and nourished children are better able to learn at school and attend classes more often. A meal at school can act as a magnet to get children into the classroom and as a social safety net to help the world’s most vulnerable families. 
 
Kids Should Focus on Learning, Not On Their Stomachs

World Teachers’ Day: Are Teachers Satisfied?

Quentin Wodon's picture


This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of World Teachers' Day. Since 1994, the day, which is celebrated on October 5, has been an occasion to mobilize support for teachers. Teachers are not only tasked with imparting knowledge, they often have the power to inspire or suppress intellectual curiosity. Primary school teachers in particular help to lay the foundations upon which pupils’ attitudes towards education are built. 

In Brazil, Teaching and Learning Happen Outside the Box

Claudia Costin's picture



A good quality basic education equips students with the foundational skills (reading, writing and numeracy) they need to function in today’s society and prepare them for lifelong learning. But in many parts of the world, schooling alone is not yielding the expected results, and countries are experimenting with innovative learning and teaching tools, including online platforms.
 
In Brazil, a Portuguese version of the Khan Academy’s free online education platform (see World Bank Group President Jim Kim’s post last week) is helping thousands of students master basic skills. This effort has been spearheaded by the Fundação Lemann (Lemann Foundation), an organization dedicated to improving the country's education quality. 

Pages