Over 23m children may not return to school globally – World Bank

Over 23m children may not return to school globally - World Bank

With the commencement of a new academic calendar for primary and secondary schools globally, no fewer than 23 million may not return to the citadel of learning.

This according to the bank was due to economic hardship, insecurity, negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, among others.

The figure, it added, could increase the number of out-of-school children in the world to about 300 million.

According to the bank, the situation can also raise learning poverty from 53 per cent to 63 per cent.

Learning Poverty is a situation in which somebody who is up to 10 years cannot read or write.

This was contained in the Bank’s Global Education Policy Dashboard, GEPD.

The World Bank noted that because of the crippling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on national economies, many low-income countries have cut down their education budgets.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the already existing global learning crisis. The latest simulations show that over 23 million children are at risk of not returning to school—bringing the number of out-of-school children close to 300 million.

“Combined with expected learning losses, this translates into a likely rise in the global Learning Poverty rate to 63% (from 53% before COVID-19). Confronted with deep recessions, two-thirds of low- and lower-middle-income countries have cut their public education budgets since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ ALSO: $540bn remittance flow reaches low-and-middle-income countries in 2020 – World Bank

“To help countries put an end to Learning Poverty, the World Bank’s Education Global Practice has developed and is supporting countries in the deployment of the Global Education Policy Dashboard, GEPD.

“This new tool offers a strong basis for identifying priorities for investment and policy reforms that are suited to each country context. It does so by highlighting gaps between what the evidence suggests is effective in promoting learning and what is happening in practice in each system; and allowing governments to track progress as they take action to close those gaps,” the bank said.

Suggesting ways countries could get over the problems, the bank said:  “One way to answer this is to first identify the barriers to learning. The World Development Report 2018 argues that struggling education systems lack one or more of four key school-level ingredients for learning: prepared learners, quality teaching, learning-focused inputs, and the skilled management that pulls them together.

“But the problems are not just at school level; these deficiencies in service delivery are typically signs of deeper systemic problems. They are driven by policies that are not well designed or implemented to promote learning for all children and youth, and these misalignments in turn reflect problems caused by unhealthy politics or a lack of bureaucratic capacity.

“To tackle the learning crisis, achieving and sustaining learning gains at scale, countries need to know where they stand on all three of these dimensions—practices (or service delivery), policies, and politics.

“The dashboard starts by focusing attention on early-grade learning and school participation. The next set of indicators measure the quality of practices, focusing on the four key school-level ingredients of student learning: teaching, school management, inputs and infrastructure, and learner preparation.

”In addition, the dashboard measures deeper systemic drivers: the policies and politics that determine the quality of service delivery.

“The end goal is to have a set of indicators that is comprehensive but also focused so stakeholders can pay attention to what is really most important,” the Bank said.

Recalled that recently, the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund, UNICEF, said about a million children in Nigeria were afraid of going back to school due to the high level of insecurity in the country.

Nigeria has already rated the capital of OSC in the world with about 13 million children in the country not going to school.


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