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To achieve ‘learning for all’, we must create inclusive systems for students with disabilities

Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo's picture
We should be looking at educational opportunities for all children and young people with disabilities. (Photo: Masaru Goto / World Bank)

While schools and educators aim at more inclusive approaches across the globe, it’s important to acknowledge that mainstream education settings can unknowingly exclude deaf and hard of hearing people. 

According to the World Federation of the Deaf, out of the 70 million deaf people in the world, 56 million receive no education at all.  This is especially true among deaf women and girls, and people living in developing countries.

This is part of the learning crisis that we at the World Bank are concerned about.

How community-based early childhood programs can impact child development

Amer Hasan's picture
An early childhood development center in Indonesia. (Photo: Angela Kinnell)

250 million children under the age of five in the developing world are failing to reach their full development potential. Faced with this challenge, governments and donors across the globe have turned to early childhood education and development (ECED) services. These are a cost-effective way to overcome the developmental losses associated with growing up in a disadvantaged environment. The services can be delivered in different ways, such as through kindergartens and community-based playgroups.

But how effective are these, in practice?

At a Crossroads: Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean

María Marta Ferreyra's picture
Also available in: Español
A student from a university in Peru. (Photo: Dominic Chavez/World Bank)

Higher education is available today to more young people in Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) than at any other time in the region’s history. And while this increased access is a positive development, it does not guarantee the quality education countries need to capitalize on this momentum. Countries need to help students reach their potential by the creation of  high-quality, diverse programs that equip them for success in the labor market. Our pursuit of growth and prosperity—and the economic future of the region— depends on it.
A good higher education is not a one-size-fits-all model: it needs to take into account individual interests, motivation, innate talent, and academic readiness. It needs to be equitable, relevant and diverse enough to know that different occupations require varying length of training: indeed, a “short-cycle” two-year program, similar to an American associate’s degree, may be sufficient to train an administrative assistant, while other professions, like engineer or architect, require a full bachelor’s program, which often last upwards of five or six years in the region.

Momento decisivo: La educación superior en América Latina y el Caribe

María Marta Ferreyra's picture
Also available in: English
Un estudiante universitario en Perú. (Foto: Dominic Chavez/Banco Mundial)

La educación superior está disponible hoy para más jóvenes en América Latina y el Caribe (ALC) que en cualquier otro momento en la historia de la región. Y aunque este aumento del acceso es un resultado positivo, no asegura la educación de calidad que los países necesitan para aprovechar este impulso. Los países deben ayudar a los estudiantes a maximizar su potencial, y lo pueden hacer creando programas diversos y de alta calidad que preparen a los jóvenes para ser exitosos en el mercado laboral. Nuestra búsqueda de crecimiento y prosperidad —y el futuro económico de la región— depende de eso.

Un buen sistema de educación superior no es un modelo único aplicable a todas las situaciones: debe tomar en cuenta los intereses individuales, las motivaciones, las habilidades innatas y la preparación académica. Necesita ser equitativo, de alta calidad y lo suficientemente diverso para reconocer que las distintas ocupaciones requieren programas de formación con duraciones diferentes: un programa de “ciclo corto” de dos años, similar a un “grado de asociado” en Estados Unidos (“grado de técnico”), podría ser suficiente para formar a un auxiliar administrativo, mientras que para otras profesiones, como ingeniero o arquitecto, es necesario completar un programa de licenciatura, que suele durar hasta cinco o seis años en la región.

Three critical ingredients for successful education reform

Jaime Saavedra's picture
Also available in: Español | Français
“For learning to happen and for values to be nurtured in classrooms, teachers and  principals need to have a mindset of excellence,” says Jaime Saavedra.
“For learning to happen and for values to be nurtured in classrooms, teachers and  principals need to have a mindset of excellence,” says Jaime Saavedra, Senior Director of the World Bank Education Global Practice. (Photo: World Bank)

Over the past decades, education investments in the developing world have led to unprecedented enrollment rates. Yet, even with these historic investments, children sit in classrooms every day without learning. More than a schooling crisis, we face a learning crisis. Despite progress in countries as diverse as Vietnam, Colombia and Peru, millions of children leave school without knowing how to read a paragraph or solve a simple two-digit subtraction.

Les trois ingrédients essentiels au succès d’une réforme de l’éducation

Jaime Saavedra's picture
Also available in: English | Español
“For learning to happen and for values to be nurtured in classrooms, teachers and  principals need to have a mindset of excellence,” says Jaime Saavedra.
Afin que les étudiants reçoivent une éducation de qualité, il faut que les enseignants et principals se fixent des objectifs d'excellence, selon Jaime Saavedra, directeur général du Pôle d'expertise “Éducation” à la Banque Mondiale. (Photo: World Bank)

Les investissements pour l’éducation réalisés ces dix dernières années dans les pays en développement ont permis d’assurer une couverture éducative sans précédent. Les taux de scolarisation sont plus élevés que jamais mais, en dépit de ces investissements record, des enfants passent leur journée assis dans des salles de classe sans acquérir de connaissances. Dans des pays aussi différents que le Vietnam, le Pérou ou le Mali, des millions d’enfants quittent l’école, parfois après l’avoir fréquentée plusieurs années, sans savoir lire un paragraphe ou faire une simple soustraction de nombres à deux chiffres.

Tres ingredientes para sostener una reforma educativa

Jaime Saavedra's picture
Also available in: English | Français
“For learning to happen and for values to be nurtured in classrooms, teachers and  principals need to have a mindset of excellence,” says Jaime Saavedra.
"Para que se lleve a cabo el aprendizaje y los valores sean cultivados en las aulas, los maestros y directores deben tener una mentalidad de excelencia", dice Jaime Saavedra, director senior de la Práctica Global de Educación del Banco Mundial. (Foto: Banco Mundial)

En casi todo el mundo en desarrollo, la inversión en educación se ha traducido en un aumento acelerado de la cobertura educativa. Pero en la mayor parte de los casos, esta inversión no ha tenido todavía un impacto importante en los aprendizajes. Más que una crisis de escolaridad, hoy en día enfrentamos una crisis de aprendizajes. A pesar de las notorias mejoras en países como Vietnam, Colombia o Perú, millones de niños salen de la escuela cada día sin saber leer un párrafo o hacer una resta simple de dos dígitos.

Teaching (with) empathy and compassion in schools

Ines Kudo's picture
Photo: The Blue Dot

Emotions are the DNA of human experience. Social relationships play a pivotal role in helping us become fully human. Connectedness is an essential need for our species. So, we tend to assume it comes naturally and, thus, needs not to be taught in schools.

It is only recently that policymakers and organisations are paying attention and defining emotions and social skills as essential to a well-rounded education. This is mostly based on growing evidence that socio-emotional skills increase academic outcomes and well-being and employers seek those skills and will pay for them.

How education & cricket changed a blind youth leader’s world

M. Yaa Pokua Afriyie Oppong's picture
“I refuse to be seen in the lesser light of society and aim to be a trail-blazer.”
From left-right: Leroy Philips, Yaa Oppong and Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo
(Photo: Yaa Oppong / World Bank)

Last fall, while supporting the preparation of a World Bank-financed education project in Guyana, and exploring entry points for gender and disability inclusion (with Braille business cards in hand), I met Mr. Leroy Phillips at the Guyana Society for the Blind (GSB).  Leroy introduced himself after stepping into my meeting room to collect his cane.
I learned that Mr. Phillips was a youth leader, disability rights advocate, student of communications and freelance radio broadcaster from Georgetown with a weekly disability-themed program Reach out and Touch. Leroy has also been invited to speak internationally, earning  accolades for his  work for children with disabilities, including the inaugural Queens’ Young Leaders Award 2015.

Effective ways for developing school leadership

Harriet Nannyonjo's picture
Leadership is a critical aspect of all social endeavors. In schools, talented leadership is essential to student achievement. (Photo: Graham Crouch / World Bank)

Leadership is a critical aspect of all social endeavors. In schools, talented leadership is essential to student achievement. School leadership impacts all facets of education:  teacher motivation, shaping the conditions and the environment in which teaching and learning occurs, and interaction with the broader community.  A large scale six-year study reported by Louis et al (2010) covering 180 schools in 43 school districts in the US found that there is no single case of a school improving its student achievement record in the absence of skilled school leadership.

In many school systems, effective school leadership is far from the norm. It is often simply assumed that school leaders, irrespective of capacity, will discharge responsibilities and initiatives assigned to them. Moreover, programs to prepare and or support school leaders are either lacking or ineffective.