The robots are coming and are taking our jobs. Or are they? The media and the blogosphere have been buzzing lately about the impact of artificial intelligence and robotics on our lives. In particular, the debate on the impact of automation on employment has amplified concerns about the loss of jobs in advanced economies. And accelerating technological change points the spotlight on questions like: Do workers, blue and white collar alike, possess the right skills for a changing labor market? Are they prepared for the employment shocks that come with the so-called “fourth industrial revolution”? What skills strategy should countries adopt to equip their workforces for the 21st century?
Also available in: EspañolChanging behavior is tough. It is tough to quit smoking, to save more money, or to choose walking up the stairs over an elevator. Behavior change becomes even tougher when it’s compounded with the challenges of poverty.
Ed: This guest post is by Alan Ruby, senior scholar at the University of Pennsylvania’s Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy who also serves as a consultant to the World Bank, an adviser to the Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan, the Head Foundation in Singapore, and the American Institutes of Research.
Nearly 50 years ago, 40 classmates and I spent the last two weeks of November taking our higher school certificate examinations. In a cavernous, hot, and poorly ventilated hall, we sat in widely-spaced rows, writing essays, solving mathematics and science problems, and answering multiple-choice questions.
Deep in the winding alleys of a Dhaka slum, business was booming. Rafiq, an entrepreneurial 12-year-old, was selling snacks out of a makeshift food cart – and his customers couldn’t get enough.
A few months ago, I met with over 100 undergraduate and graduate students at seven different technical institutions in the Indian states of Maharashtra and Karnataka, as part of the Government of India – World Bank supported Technical Education Quality Improvement Program (TEQIP II). It took a bit of time for all of us to feel comfortable – how awkward can it get when you are summoned to participate in a meeting with a guest visitor? But, ultimately, we were able to talk freely and even joke a bit.
As the world struggles to cope with the stream of refugees coming out of Syria, there is an urgent need to advance education opportunities. This is not to just thwart radicalization, as United Nations special envoy for global education Gordon Brown argues, but to ensure that we invest in building refugee children’s human capital.
In 2013, we went to Liberia to find better answers to this question: who are the vulnerable youth? We wanted to put a human face to statistics. Analysis of statistical data revealed that some youth are more vulnerable than others. Rural youth, young mothers, ex-combatant youth, poor youth, and poorly-educated youth are especially at risk.
Qui sont les jeunes vulnérables ? C’est pour tenter d’apporter des réponses plus satisfaisantes à cette question que nous nous sommes rendues, en 2013, au Libéria (a). Nous voulions donner un visage à des statistiques qui montraient que certains jeunes étaient plus vulnérables que d’autres, notamment les jeunes vivant en milieu rural, les jeunes mères, les anciens combattants, les pauvres et ceux qui n’ont pas assez d’instruction.
Ed: This guest post is by Professor Eric A. Hanushek, a Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. Join us online on January 28, 2016 to listen to Prof. Hanushek as he discusses his latest book “The Knowledge Capital of Nations”.
In September 2015, the United Nations adopted an aggressive development agenda that included 17 separate Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) designed to guide investment and development over the next 15 years. Two of these assume particular importance because they will determine whether or not the other 15 can be achieved.
Browsing in my local second-hand bookstore over the end-of-year holidays, I came across “Institutes of Oratory”, written by Marcus Fabius Quintilianus around 90 C.E. In reading the first chapters of this work, I was struck by the number of precepts concerning education that are still very relevant to today’s school systems.