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Early childhood development: A smart investment for life

Keith Hansen's picture
Also available in: Español | Français
A young boy smiles at the camera, as his mother holds him. Photo Aisha Faquir / World Bank.

Early Childhood Development: A Smart Beginning for Economies on the Rise is one of the events at the 2016 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group. It will be webcast on April 14, 4:30 pm- 6:00 pm ET.

Have you ever heard the phrase “Inequality starts at birth”? This is one of the most sobering statements in development but one that has an answer and it’s called early childhood development or ECD. No other development investment boasts a higher payoff for people and for economies than ECD.

Measurement matters in preschool quality

Amer Hasan's picture
Children and teachers in an early childhood education center in rural Indonesia
Photo credit: Amer Hasan


Recent studies in neuroscience and economics show that early childhood experiences have a profound impact on brain development and thus on outcomes throughout life. A growing number of impact evaluations from low- and middle-income countries underscore the importance of preschool for children’s development (to highlight a few: Cambodia, Mozambique, and Indonesia).

School nutrition programs are the first line of defense against diabetes

Linda Brooke Schultz's picture
Children having meals in school in Ghana. Photo: © Arne Hoel/The World Bank



April 7th is World Health Day, a day to highlight emerging global health concerns. The focus this year is raising awareness on the diabetes epidemic, and its dramatic increase in low- and middle-income countries.

Why sports and development go hand in hand

Makhtar Diop's picture
This page in: Français
Young boys playing soccer in Namibia. Photo: © John Hogg/World Bank

People often ask me how I became the person I am today. More often than not, my answer surprises them. Sports has a lot to do with it. In many countries across the globe, soccer is a way of life. As a kid, growing up in Senegal, sport was part of my daily life. I practiced all kinds of sports but track and field and karate were my two passions. Martial arts taught me the importance of not giving up, while running kept me focused.  My coaches in Senegal were true educators.

READ this: Why we must measure literacy at an early age

Harry A. Patrinos's picture
Measuring young children's skills in Malawi.


A couple of years ago Room to Read, a non-profit organization for improving literacy and gender equality in education in the developing world, implored viewers to try to not to read anything at all in a popular ad.  

Delivered: The World Bank’s $750 million IDA pledge for basic education

Elizabeth King's picture
Students at the Wodia Berete School in Conakry, Guinea. Photo © Dominic Chavez/World Bank

In September 2010, in his speech on the floor of the United Nations General Assembly, then-President of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, committed the institution to increase funding toward basic education as part of a strong push towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. Specifically, the World Bank pledged to increase MDG-related support to poor countries, including an additional $750 million in IDA funds- the World Bank’s fund for the poorest- over five years for countries furthest from reaching the education goals, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. 

Teacher Management 2.0: An innovative, data-driven approach in Malawi

Salman Asim's picture
Nine year old Selina Josophati, a standard two learner at the Government Junior Primary School in Mchinji district of Malawi. Photo Credits: Wathando Mughandira

There is a need for a teachers’ house in my school,” said nine-year old Selina Josophati.

Selina, a second grade student at the government-run primary school in the Mchinji district of Malawi, is afraid that without a place to live, all the teachers in her school might leave town, shattering her dreams to continue studying and join secondary school. Selina wants to become a teacher when she grows up.   

Why is Argentina suffering from StagLearning?

Peter Holland's picture
Also available in: Español
Students in Argentina's rural communities

[StagLearning:stagˈlərniNG/ noun
A condition of no growth in basic learning outcomes, despite high levels of education spending.]
 
Argentina is no stranger to stagflation – a condition of stagnant economic growth, despite high inflation.  But, over the last decade or so, it has also been suffering from staglearning – no growth in learning, despite high levels of spending on education. This is not just inefficient; this is heartbreaking since it means the country is not capitalizing on potential poverty reduction.

Higher education matters to young people in Tajikistan

Jason Weaver's picture
Winners of the youth essay competition


Amidst the risk assessments, results frameworks, and implementation arrangements of any World Bank-financed project, it’s easy to lose sight of the impact that education projects can have on individuals, especially students and teachers. To launch our higher education project in Tajikistan, we used a youth contest to tie the project to personal success stories.  

We asked young people in Tajikistan between the ages of 18-25 to tell us in an email of 100 words: why is higher education important to you? How is it impacting your life? Entries could be submitted in Tajik, Russian, or English.

Since the contest was the first of its kind in Tajikistan, we didn’t know what to expect. To spread the word, we engaged the leader of a youth-oriented NGO in Tajikistan to email, telephone, and visit higher education institutions. Different universities posted contest details to their websites and social media pages.

Weighing the benefits of senior high school in the Philippines

Harry A. Patrinos's picture
Students walk by a school offering senior high school levels. Photo Credit: Samer Al-Samarrai /World Bank
In June 2016, approximately 1.5 million children across the Philippines will walk through school gates for the first time to attend senior high school. The Department of Education has been gearing up for this moment for several years. The basic education curriculum, from kindergarten to senior high – grades 11 and 12 – has been thoroughly reviewed and efforts are in full swing to ensure that the 60,000 additional teachers and classrooms are in place when schools open in the new school year.

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