The World Bank Group President, David Malpass is envisaging to put an end of what he called global learning crisis in the world, which borders on human rights violation. He said the new approach will help address children turning age10 with reading impediment.
The World Bank Group boss stated that children age 10 should be learning more about the world and expanding their horizons, but warned that too many children, more than half of all 10-year-old in low- and middle-income countries, cannot read and understand a simple story.
“We are in the middle of a global learning crisis that stifles opportunities and aspirations of hundreds of millions of children, that is unacceptable. In October, we released data to support a new learning target, by 2030; we want to cut at least half the global level of learning poverty, ”he explained.
He said, learning to read at an early age is very important, and everyone needs to take advantage of that. “Learning to read is an especially critical skill: it opens a world of possibilities, and it’s the foundation on which other essential learning is built, including numeracy and science,” he stated.
“Wiping out learning poverty; defined as the percentage of children who can’t read and understand a simple story at age 10, is an urgent matter. It’s key to eliminating poverty in general and boosting shared prosperity. It’s key to helping children achieve their potential,” he averred.
Mr. Malpass also warned that over the last several years, progress in reducing learning poverty has been stagnant globally between 2000 and 2017 and there were only 10 percent improvement in learning outcomes for primary school-aged children. “If this pace continues, 43 percent of ten-year-old won’t be able to read in 2030,” he stated.
“While some countries have made improvements over the years, there are significant discrepancies between low-income and high-income countries, and regions within countries, learning poverty is a global crisis, but it is particularly stark in Africa where close to 86 percent of children cannot read or understand a simple story at age 10,” he also stated.
“The good news is, the children who will turn 10 in 2030 will be born next year. If we work urgently, there is an opportunity to reverse this trend,” he averred”.
The World Bank Group boss used Vietnam as a case study when he learnt that effective curriculum ensures that the basics are covered and that there is deep learning of fundamental skills, and all children have reading materials. Learning outcomes of Vietnamese students in the bottom 40 percent of the income ladder are as high, or higher, than the average student in high-income countries.
He said, the challenges of reducing learning poverty will differ between countries and regions, because according to him, access to school remains an enormous problem. He further stated that 258 million young people were out of school globally in 2018, while in other countries; children are in classrooms but are not learning.
“By setting a global target, the World Bank can work with countries to define their own national learning targets. Cutting learning poverty in half by 2030 is only an intermediate goal. Our ambition is to work with governments and development partners to bring that number to zero,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the World Bank Boss said, eliminating learning poverty must be a priority, just like ending hunger and extreme poverty. “It won’t be easy, but we can’t back down from the challenge. We owe it to the children all over the world to set our sights high, so they can too,” he stated.