“Schooling without learning is a wasted opportunity,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim
The world is racing forward with innovation and it has never been more important to get the next generation ready for the future. Not only because they could embrace it but also because they will lead it to greater heights. However, at this point, we are far from achieving that goal. Especially, when it comes to ensuring that children from all backgrounds receive an equal opportunity to “learn” for the present and for the future.
A World Bank Report titled “World Development Report 2018: ‘Learning to Realize Education’s Promise“, warned of a ‘learning crisis’ in global education. “Even after several years in school, millions of children cannot read, write or do basic math,” were one of the observations World Bank published. The report by a team, directed by Lead World Bank Economists – Deon Filmer and Halsey Rogers, established the disparity that existed between the reality of ‘education’ in developed nations and developing nations.
India is not immune to this global crisis either. The report found out, “In rural India, nearly three-quarters of students in grade 3 could not solve a two-digit subtraction such as “46 – 17”—and by grade 5, half still could not do so.”
This learning crisis is a moral and economic crisis. When delivered well, education promises young people employment, better earnings, good health, and a life without poverty. For communities, education spurs innovation, strengthens institutions, and fosters social cohesion. But these benefits depend on learning, and schooling without learning is a wasted opportunity. More than that, it’s a great injustice: the children whom societies fail the most are the ones who are most in need of a good education to succeed in life. – World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim
Former Tunisian government Minister Amel Karboul, spoke in detail about the ‘global learning crisis’ and what could be done about it, narrating how the Tunisian government tackled it. The most important infrastructure we have is educated minds, yet too often large investments go to more visible initiatives such as bridges and roads, when it is the minds of our children that will really create a brighter future, said Amel.
It is not that the world does not have inspiring examples of tackling the issue. “In 2012, Vietnam’s results from an OECD test for high school students in math, science, and reading called PISA, showed that its 15-year-olds performed at the same level as those in Germany—even though Vietnam is a much poorer country,” stated the World Bank report.
“The only way to make progress is to ‘find truth from facts.’ If we let them, the facts about education reveal a painful truth. For too many children, schooling does not mean learning,” – World Bank Chief Economist, Paul Romer
For tackling and resolving this issue, the report suggested three policy recommendations:
- Assess learning, so it can become a measurable goal.
- Make schools work for all children.
- Mobilize everyone who has a stake in learning.
It is high time that we, as a country and citizens, wake up to the reality. At Janwaar Castle, we have pledged to work towards this cause and create a ripple effect for others to join to co-create the future of ‘learning’ in India.