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Wednesday, September 27, 2017, 11:32
World Bank warns of global learning crisis
By Xinhua
Wednesday, September 27, 2017, 11:32 By Xinhua

Textbooks have been replaced by iPads. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

WASHINGTON - World Bank on Tuesday warned that millions of young students in low and middle-income countries could face lost opportunity and lower wages in later life due to lack of good education.

"The children whom society is failing the most are the ones in greatest need of a good education to succeed in life," said the Washington-based lender in its latest World Development Report which focuses on global education.

Not all developing countries suffer from extreme learning gaps, however, as many fall far short of levels they aspire to, said the report

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The report found that learning outcomes are always much worse for the disadvantaged groups, such as poor children, girls, children with disabilities, ethnic minorities. Furthermore, these groups are either not enrolled in schools or most likely to be out of schools. The Bank named these severe shortfalls a learning crisis.

"This learning crisis is widening social gaps instead of narrowing them," said the report. "Young students who are already disadvantaged by poverty, conflict, gender or disability reach young adulthood without even the most basic life skills," it added.

Not all developing countries suffer from extreme learning gaps, however, as many fall far short of levels they aspire to, said the report.

According to the report, the average students in poor countries perform worse than 95 percent of the students in high-income countries; many high-performing students in middle-income countries would rank in the bottom in a wealthier country.

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"This learning crisis is a moral and economic crisis," said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim in a press release on Tuesday.

The Bank suggests countries to carry out serious learning assessments in order to track and improve education.

It also calls on countries to "make schools for all learners" and tackle the technical and political barriers to learning at scale.

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