Next week, UNESCO will convene the world’s educational leaders in Incheon to set the agenda for educational development over the next 15 years. Those who think that’s mainly an agenda for the developing world should read our new report Universal Basic Skills - What Countries Stand to Gain. The report shows the scale of the effort that is ahead even for many of the wealthiest nations to develop the essential skills that can transform lives, generate prosperity and promote social inclusion. And with a new global metric of the quality of learning outcomes, the report demonstrates that the world is no longer divided between rich and well-educated countries and poor and badly educated ones.
For a region that is considered middle-income, it is unacceptable that one in every 40 children in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) dies in the first year of life mostly from preventable causes. Neither does it makes sense that one fifth of its youngest population is stunted from malnutrition, and more than half are missing out on critical micronutrients such as iodine in salt, which impairs cognitive development. Moreover, with only 27 percent of children ages 3-5 enrolled in pre-school, almost half the world average, three quarters of children in the region are missing the opportunity to build the foundations for school readiness, and to acquire the skills they will need to lead a happy, autonomous, and healthy life.
What are the implications of these alarming trends?
The 2015 Education for All Global Monitoring Report – Education for All 2000-2015: Achievements and Challenges– will be launched at the World Bank in Washington today, bringing together international leaders in the fields of education, development and aid to take stock of major achievements and setbacks and discuss recommendations to support the ambitious post-2015 education agenda.
This winter, I was at an employment center in Karaganda, Kazakhstan talking to people who were interested in starting their own businesses. I could still remember the excitement in their voices as they talked about their ideas.
Этой зимой я побывала в Центре занятости в г. Караганда, Казахстан, где встретилась с людьми заинтересованными в открытии собственного бизнеса. Я до сих пор помню волнение в их голосах когда они говорили о своих идеях.
Была пара, которая с помощью микрокредитов от правительства начала придорожное обслуживание на станции по техническому осблуживанию (СТО), надеявшаяся воспользоваться ростом автотрафика между Астаной и Алматы. Они сказали, что хотели бы понять рынок лучше, чтобы более эффективно вести свой бизнес. Уязвимые к внезапным изменениям на рынке или появлению новых технологий, как частные предприниматели они хотят знать как улучшить производительность и развить свое дело.
Today, on World Autism Day, I’d like to highlight the impact of education on what persons with disabilities are capable of achieving. More than one billion people – 15% of the world’s population – experience some form of disability. One-fifth of the estimated global total, up to 190 million people, encounter significant disabilities. Persons with disabilities are more likely to experience adverse socio-economic outcomes than persons without disabilities, such as less education, worse health outcomes, less employment, and higher poverty rates.Most persons with disabilities are in developing countries.
At last week’s Comparative and International Education Society annual conference in Washington DC, Najeeb Shafiq put together a special panel honoring the work of pioneering education economists Martin Carnoy and George Psacharopoulos (formerly of the World Bank). Martin and George were supervised by Theodore Schultz, a Nobel Prize winning economist, who made human capital theory an important force- not just in economics- but the social sciences in general. Their work paved the way for thousands of researchers who followed in their footsteps.
At the recent Africa Higher Education Summit, I saw encouraging signs that African countries are investing in higher education. But while enrollment is increasing in tertiary education, there is still the need to improve the quality and relevance of programs. Today, Africa needs to urgently build the scientific and technological capacity to add value to its agricultural produce, minerals, oil and gas—as well as to meet urgent development needs. There is in fact growing demand from African countries for holistic support to education at all levels, starting from early childhood development programs through to higher education, with a focus on equitable access for all.
Here are my main takeaways from the summit:
Pour la Journée internationale de la femme, souvenons-nous des difficultés auxquelles sont confrontées les filles en matière d’éducation
On International Women’s Day, let’s remember the challenges girls face in education.
What would your life be like with only five years of schooling? For many girls around the world, this is the most education they can expect and they are the lucky ones. Across Africa, 28 million girls between the ages of about 6 and 15 are not in school and many will never even set foot in a classroom.