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.
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?
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.
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.