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Education

Globally, periods are causing girls to be absent from school

Oni Lusk-Stover's picture
Also available in: Español  |  Francais
Student at primary school in Freetown Sierra Leone. Photo © Dominic Chavez/World Bank

A UNESCO report estimates that one in ten girls in Sub-Saharan Africa misses school during their menstrual cycle. By some estimates, this equals as much as twenty percent of a given school year.

Many girls drop out of school altogether once they begin menstruating. Should young women miss twenty percent of school days in a given year due to a lack of facilities or a lack of information or a lack of sanitary products?

Finding a reasonable target for math and reading test scores

Marguerite Clarke's picture
Young girl studying. Photo: Khasar Sandag / World Bank


The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for education calls for learning for all. This includes ensuring that, by 2030, all students achieve relevant learning outcomes by the end of their primary and lower-secondary schooling. An important way to measure the attainment of this target will be to look at the percentage of children in each country achieving- at the very least- “minimum proficiency” on standardized math and reading tests.

Poukisa enskripsyon lekòl pa ase: Yon kout je anndan saldeklas yo an Ayiti

Juan Baron's picture



An Ayiti, anviron 90% nan timoun ki gen laj pou lekòl primè enskri nan lekòl. Malgre yo poko rive nan nivo enskripsyon inivèsèl, sa a se yon gwo amelyorasyon ki fèt konpare ak jan sa te ye ventan de sa. Men enskripsyon se jis premye etap la nan bati kapital imen - gen anpil timoun ki pral refè yon klas, epitou anviron mwatye pral kite avan yo fini lekòl primè, yap kite sistèm lekòl la san yo pa metrize menm yon ti konpetans nan lang ak matematik debaz. Poukisa patisipasyon nan lekòl pwodwi ti kras?

Why school enrollment is not enough: A look inside Haiti’s classrooms

Juan Baron's picture
Also available in: Español | Français
This page in: Haitian Kreyol
Students reading in class. Photo: ©World Bank

In Haiti, about 90% of primary school-aged children are enrolled in school.  While still falling short of universal enrollment, this is a big improvement over just two decades ago.  But enrollment is just the first step in building human capital – many children will repeat a grade, and about half will drop out before completing primary school, leaving the school system without having mastered even basic language and math skills.  Why does participation in school produce so little?

Brazil: Extending school days may hurt students

Rita Almeida's picture
Photo: Stephan Bachenheimer/ World Bank

María is a single mother with two young children who spend about five hours a day in school. Since she has a full time job, it’s a challenge for her to care for them and not lose her only source of income. This may be a hypothetical situation but it’s replicated, every day, in many countries in Latin America that have a reduced school day. 
In Latin America, several countries – Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, and Brazil – have introduced programs to lengthen the school day. The goal: to improve student learning, reduce student dropouts, and to ultimately shrink income inequality.

Why education matters for economic development

Harry A. Patrinos's picture
Also available in: 中文
Young girl stands to read. Photo: © Steve Harris / World Bank


At the Global Conference on Equity and Excellence in Basic Education, in Shanghai, China, May 17-19, 2016, the World Bank will be discussing Shanghai’s eminence in ranking highly in international achievement tests. The conference will also cover how good policy can help improve education quality in other countries. See slideshow, press release, key findings . 


“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.”- Laozi (老子), ancient Chinese philosopher and writer, known as the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching. He is the founder of philosophical Taoism and is worshipped as a deity in Taoism and traditional Chinese religions.


There are more children in school today than ever before.  For example, in 1950 the average level of schooling in Africa was less than two years. It is more than five years today.  In East Asia and the Pacific, the schooling of the population went from two to seven years between 1950 and 2010. This is a more than a 200 percent increase! Globally, average years of schooling are now projected to rise to 10 years by 2050.  This is larger than a five-fold increase within a century and a half.

教育因何对经济发展至关重要

Harry A. Patrinos's picture
Also available in: English
© Steve Harris / World Bank

517日至19日期间,在中国上海举办的“公平与卓越:全球基础教育发展论坛”上,世界银行将探讨上海在国际学业成就测评中所取得的骄人名次。论坛还将讨论其他国家如何借助良好的政策以改善教育质量。
 “授人以鱼,不如授之以渔,授人以鱼只救一时之急,授人以渔则可解一生之需。”

Strong teachers are stepping up to educate girls in Afghanistan

Mabruk Kabir's picture
A physics class in Afghanistan held outdoors, due to the shortage of classroom space. Photo Credit: Mabruk Kabir


Malaka runs a tight ship. The principal of an all-girls primary school nestled deep in the heartland of Balkh – a mountainous province in Afghanistan – what sets Malaka apart isn’t her formidable management skills. It is the unwavering commitment to her students.

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