Join the second World Bank and Financial Times’ blog writing competition for high school students


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If you can read this, then you are already doing better than 53% of children in low- and middle-income countries, who can’t read a simple text by age 10. Being able to read is fundamental for children to be able to learn other subjects like science and history. It also creates opportunities and opens more doors for them as they get older. 

What can be done to help children learn to read by the time they are 10 years old? We want to hear from you! 

Are you a 16-to-19 year-old currently enrolled in high school? If so, share your winning idea with us and get a chance to win this competition.

You can tell us by answering one of these two questions: 

  • If you were the education minister of your country what would you do to make sure every 10-year old is able to read?
  • What could teachers and schools do differently to help all children learn to read?

This is your chance to get creative. The World Bank Group and the Financial Times are organizing our second joint global blog/essay writing competition.   This competition builds on the World Bank Group’s Human Capital Project and its Report on Ending Learning Poverty

We are looking for your most inventive ideas, high quality writing, and innovative solutions to help more children learn to read. We want your creativity.

Send us:

  • A strong blog or essay, that is no longer than 500 words.
  • Photos, videos, visualizations that help support your story, are optional.
  • Your name, age, school, email, and country you live in.

The deadline for submissions is February 10th, 2020. Entries will be judged by a high-level panel comprised of senior officials at the World Bank, Financial Times, and select partners.

You could win a chance at being published in the Financial Times and the World Bank Blogs, and attending, the World Bank Group/IMF Spring Meetings in Washington D.C. in April 2020, with your expenses covered.

For more information on entering the competition and to submit your entry, click here.

You can also register your school here to receive free subscriptions of the Financial Times for students at any time:


Arathi Sundaravadanan

Senior External Affairs Officer, World Bank

September 10, 2021

1. I became as education minister, I will to the students on the age of 10years students also. Every day I will conduct little Teachers programme. on Monday :- Telugu subject (means the concern Telugu subject teacher should give one lesson to the students before the Monday's little teachers programme. concern class students should prepare TLM papers for the Telugu subject little teacher programme. so that like Tuesday:- Hindi subject and Wednesday :- English and Thursday :- Mathematics and Friday:- Science subjects and Saturday :- Social subjects. And in this connection every year I will conduct Little Teachers competitions. And I introduce a channel to this little teachers Programme. This competitions will follow like this In school level and district level and zonal level and state level. in all competition they take 1st,2nd,3rd places. those who got 1st,2nd,3rd places, they will say a lesson( which they said at State level 1st,2nd,3rd places) that lessons they need tell in the channel what introduce for little teachers programme. so that the students are very interested to participate in this competitions. so that my country do to make sure every 10-year old is able to read.

2. Teachers and school should do like this to do differently to help all children learn to read, every school first of all should know the capacity knowledge of the students. I put a rule to all the Educational departments that is E-Plus club (English Programme). for this on the last period of the school every students could talk in English. per day a topic that topics should give from the concern educational departments. And T-Plus club (Telugu Programme). This Programme will conducted in schools on Friday in the week. Concern Educational departments should give Topics to the schools. And also H-Plus Spandana Club (Hindi Programme) This programme conduct on Saturday in the week, All students will talk in Hindi in this Programme. So that every student will Talk in minimum concern Programmers, minimum knowledge.

* So these are my blogs on the Questions.
* From,
Mudagandla. Satish,
9th class A/s
AP Balayogi Gurukulam (B), Chintalapudi.
West Godavari District,
Andhra Pradesh.

Uzochukwu Azuonwu
September 10, 2021

All over the world, children seek for free and stress-less life without instruction and guidance toward future goal and development. Education in third world countries is something else that the rate of erosion via reading and learning is ever digging dry and dip without an alternative remedy. In Nigeria for instance, from primary school stage and high school student wants to have first grade without learning and reading (studying); while many with the zeal of studying has less opportunity to education and facilities and others in the system are distracted by social, religious, economical and physical factors.

Therefore, to increase and improve child reading habit in the world (Nigeria) is a collective effort of all stakeholders and concerned such as the pupils, students, governments, academic staff, parents, etc.

Parents: The first impression and energy stream from home. The parents view and regard towards education and learning leads to increase in moral and material support for children, therefore,
Parents need to supervise the class work of their children and during weekends and holidays engage them in reading, and questioning excises, as that will boast their desire to know more (read) and ready always to solve and answer to such problems and believe that such test can come any time.

Also, parent needs to investigate the reading and studying attitudes and performance of their children despite the level and age and reports back to the school and teachers with encouragement and explanations on why necessary it is to read hard as students.

More so, some children mostly in Africa such as Nigeria starts fighting for their lives and survival from eight or nine years due to poor background which often serve as a distraction towards academics therefore, parents needs to provide such basic needs to their children and make them feel protected with balanced feeding to help the children have strength and healthy living, schooling materials, clothing and others things which depends on the age and sex of the child; so to make them feel comfortable toward their academic journey, a child without books to read will never develop reading habit.

Government: Government has important roles to play toward standard education which will empower reading ability of school children. Firstly, government has to create good rules for education sector, build schools and provide academic facilities, employs qualified personnel and set good and convenience learning and reading environments.

Government of Nigeria for instance, Abia government for more than one fiscal year have not paid her academic staff; the primary school teachers, the secondary school teachers, college of education staff and even the polytechnic staff in the state and because of this teaching, learning and reading among purples and students are dimming thereby increasing schooled illiterates, academic fraud and malpractice within the state and nation.

Poor and dirty academic environment is another thing fighting students’ health in Africa, such as Nigeria where academic environment are dirty and undeveloped, to the state that students learn and reads standing in an uncompleted buildings

Lack of active and healthy school library is another thing that African government and school have not think of having and putting in place. Some pupils and student are so occupied at home that only in the school they have reading time, but due to lack of books and no or wretched school library, they do not at all attempt reading.

Finally, in school curriculums, library reading time should be given to classes with area of focus after which questions and summary will be taken care of by the teachers, and this will be more active basic levels. While in high institutions, the government have to make sure they pay off academic and non academic staff as at when due, and then create rules to eradicate exam malpractice and course sorting and other academic fraud which are now engaged in publicly in our high institutions as backed by the unpaid and hungry staff and you cannot blame them for such. Students will read hard when making it academically depends on reading, but for now, in Nigeria, good grade are reserved for those who believes in academic fraud and those who have anchored tightly with faith service and sacrifice to their God (grace). And teachers and lectures dedication toward effective education system is highly required for effective learning and reading, else we have no place to go than backsliding.

Ahmed khadijah ibrahim
September 10, 2021

In my own opinion children should be sent to school as early as at age 3 so they could be able to read, write and speak fluently in english language.

September 10, 2021

My name is Arailіm. I currently live in Shymkent, Republic of Kazakhstan. I am in 11th grade and I will go test in 2020. Nevertheless, I know for sure that the children who follow me pass the test. Currently, many parents do not have enough funds to translate their children into English or other subjects of choice during their studies in high school or they have problems in the family. Even if they have money, children may not even be interested. They can be reborn spiritually if they make new changes to their education in primary school. For example, paying particular attention to future subjects, I hope that the future work of our students can help them a bit without worrying about their profession.
A new curriculum is currently being introduced in Kazakhstan. As part of this program, students switched from 6-day education to 5-day education. The program involves the introduction of many subjects, while the national language is Kazakh, but most courses are in English and Russian. For example, “In high school chemistry, biology, computer science and physics, English will be taught in English. During 2017, 12,602 teachers in these four subjects from all over the country will take language courses ” Moving to such developing countries as Kazakhstan is very difficult. First of all, you need to translate it into English so that you can make ten times more books before you can easily read them in Kazakh. Decree in the new curriculum for 2019-2020. «I think it will be more appropriate and effective to start English in grades 2-3 or at the discretion of the parents.» When a first grader goes to grade 1, he should focus on one important subject. For example, after reading the alphabet, start writing sentences without writing an essay or essay. Make suggestions, read books and enjoy the lessons. You must take care of them and be happy, because they are still small children. But now a good average, satisfactory, not suitable for a child. If you teach mathematics to solve tasks related to a cartoon or a game, they will be remembered for a long time, and I'm sure that mathematics is not a terrible lesson for them. But to be a student is more than just learning the Kazakh language and mathematics at school. There are other things. For example: English twice a week and Russian twice a week. For a future profession, you can teach subjects such as natural sciences, but this is not easy.
For example, it is wrong to teach electronics in first grade as modern technology. I think we will succeed in grade 5. Staying at your computer and phone for a long time can be harmful to your health. Sitting at a computer can damage your eyes, damage your nervous system and tilt your spine. They learn to read and write through a book, and they memorize their homework through a book. There are a lot of suicidal, criminal and other undesirable questions for young people on the Internet today, so I think it is best to read the book and explain it to the child in the game. They are still a child of the game. Hard work is required to reach the top of the mountain. But, firstly, students should be interested in teaching books as basic knowledge, and not in technology. I think you can read the technology from 5 to 11.

September 10, 2021

Hi there! Happy to hear this contest. I have sent my blog and video. But I haven't received any email yet. When will the results come out? I am really passionate about that. I am worried somehow. How can I find out the time when the winners will be announced?