Often times when entrepreneurs are asked what influenced them, they reflect on short term experiences. We hardly look for clues as far as our childhood to ascertain what, who and how we were inspired to set out into this courageous path of uncertainty instead of the predictable security of formal employment.
In terms of schooling, Serbia has made great strides in ensuring universal access to pre-primary, primary, and lower-secondary education, and has considerably improved learning outcomes. Enrollment in basic education is higher than 95 percent and the quality of education in Serbia has improved considerably over time. The Harmonized Learning Outcomes have increased from 458 points in 2003 to 521 points in 2015 – an increase of 63 points, or a gain of 2 years in learning outcomes.
Graduating from college remains one of the best routes out of poverty. Recent research shows that returns to higher education are now larger than the returns to any other education sector, and they are particularly large for low-income countries. In low- and middle-income countries, the private (wage) returns to accessing higher education are 26.8 percent and 20.2 percent, respectively, relative to obtaining a high school degree. Women tend to have higher rates of return than men, and there is even some evidence (from the United States) that children from poor families benefit the most from higher education.
In Sociology, I took a sip of my future.
Outside the classroom, my digital native self was poised to go online. Hungry to explore Goffman’s concept of dramaturgy and the implications of deviance, I would dig up CrashCourse videos, The Atlantic articles, edX courses, and everything in between. In these endeavors, a curious mélange of theory and application was always to be found: long and short reads of various styles, pop quizzes, data visualizations, videos, and global discussion forums fused together to make a compelling narrative, which screams “you’re the special one!” Like fellows of my own cohort, I bounce back and forth between the real world and the data-saturated virtual world, being fueled with an insatiable zeal for knowledge that is new, egalitarian, and individually curated.
Inside, however, the axis was flipped. In temporarily tuning out of online information consumption, I tuned in to the intimate experience of being human — talking, collaborating, inquiring, creating, storytelling. If anything, this class instilled in me a sense of mental flexibility, such that I could navigate tomorrow’s uncertain world with almost everything unconceived.
In geography class, you put on a virtual reality headset. Suddenly you are transported to the Andes in South America. Mesmerized by the colossal formations all around, you take notes on which materials constitute the vibrant spectrum of rock layers. History debates come alive as you and your classmates reimagine the Paris Peace Conference, sitting in the Palace of Versailles.
The possibilities are truly endless.
As the world faces the transformative economic, social and environmental challenges of Globalization 4.0, it has never been more important to invest in people.
Valuing human capital not only serves to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to respond to systemic shifts, it also empowers them to take part in creating a more equal, inclusive and sustainable world.
Robots may not be taking all our jobs, but they are changing profoundly the way we work. Take the European Union (EU), where jobs are increasingly about “non-routine cognitive” and “interpersonal” tasks which require workers to think creatively, solve problems and collaborate with others. Labor market transformation in the EU can be summed up by the number 15: the intensity of non-routine cognitive tasks in EU jobs has increased by 15 percent over the last 15 years, while the prevalence of manual tasks has declined by 15 percent. This is producing a growing divide in employment and earnings across the EU: While high-skill workers are thriving, low-skill workers are losing out. It has never been more important to invest in people and provide every worker with sound foundational skills.
In December we announced the World Bank Group and the Financial Times blog writing competition, ‘How Would You Reimagine Education?’ The competition closed on January 31st and we received almost 600 entries from more than 90 countries. This competition built on our Human Capital Project as well as the World Bank’s World Development Reports on The Changing Nature of Work and LEARNING to Realize Education’s Promise.
Several common themes emerged from the blog posts across cultures and continents. Despite the rising use of technology in classrooms, students said teachers and personal interactions would always remain valuable. They also highlighted that teaching methods have not changed for centuries and reviving that system to help students think critically, solve problems, and enhance their creativity would be crucial.
What exactly is Human Capital? The phrase itself is only two words: “Capital” refers to an asset that improves one’s ability to be economically productive while “Human” refers to the individual as the very unit in which the asset comes. Taken together however, the phrase transforms to be about that which an individual human can harness within themselves to realize their full potential, and be the best contributor to society they can be.
What can each individual harness to make the most for, and of themselves? This is the question that the contemporary visual art exhibition on view in the Gallery in the World Bank Group Visitor Center seeks to understand.
But, how can we ensure that every human being has access to those three things? What happens when someone is unable to access health, knowledge, skills - some, or all three? The artworks on view confront these very questions.
This blog is part of a series that discusses findings from the [email protected]: Shaping the Future report, which identifies the changes necessary for Pakistan to become a strong upper middle-income country by the time it turns 100 years old in 2047.
. Estimates based on the national poverty line, which was set at Rs3,030.3 per adult equivalent per month based on 2013-14 prices, show a consistent decline over the past two decades.
. However, a lot is yet to be done.
Not only because 2015 estimates show that approximately one in four Pakistani still does not have enough money to satisfy basic needs, but – even more alarming – progress has been far from equal when looking across the provinces, districts, cities, and rural areas.
Within provinces, poverty has remained stubbornly high in Southern Punjab and Northern Sindh. Similarly, the pace of poverty reduction has been slower in rural areas compared to cities, where the risk of poverty is less than half compared to rural areas.
Inequalities in poverty levels and poverty reduction performance are compounded by substantial inequalities in access to and quality of basic services such as health, education, electricity, water, and sanitation.
Being born in one of the country’s lagging areas and/or in a poor family largely predetermines a child’s chances of escaping deprivation and realizing his or her full human capital potential in life.