News and Research 235
March 8: International Women’s Day:
- Realizing the returns to schooling: How COVID-19 and school closures are threatening women’s economic future | COVID-19 is threatening the gains being made in girls’ education. Urgent action is needed to ensure that girls and women can realize the returns to their schooling
- COVID-19: Bringing Girls Back to School: WISE Facebook Live (7:30 PM GMT+3 to 8:15 PM GMT+3) panel discussion on how COVID-19 has brought up new challenges while also exacerbating previous barriers to education, making girls and women more vulnerable.
European Education Area:
The European Commission is developing initiatives to help establish a European Education Area enabling all young people to benefit from the best education and training, and to find employment across Europe. The EC announced a Commission Expert Group on quality investment in education. The Commission aims to establish the European Education Area by 2025 which aims to help step up investment in education. The Expert Group will carry out an in-depth analysis of existing evidence to identify policies that can effectively boost education and training outcomes as well as inclusiveness, while improving the efficiency of spending. The EU will channel more funds than ever into education and training over the next seven years. The Expert Group will help national authorities to make the best use of available funds and support the development of evidence-based policy by creating a guidance document for Member States providing robust evidence on the impact, cost and challenges in implementing key policy measures. The Expert Group will focus on teachers, management, and digital education.
Investing in education and training to boost social and economic resilience. The EC recently published Boosting Social and Economic Resilience in Europe by Investing in Education. This report focuses on the social and economic resilience that might be achieved through well-designed and targeted investment in education and training. The report provides a review of the individual and social returns of education. The report also discusses the implications of COVID-19 related school closures in early 2020 on individuals (students, teachers and parents), education institutions and systems. It suggests that if not tackled adequately during the recovery stage, immediate adverse consequences – such as interrupted learning and skills formation, exacerbated educational inequalities and rising dropout rates – could lead to high social and economic costs in the long term.
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions | EC targets to be achieved by 2030:
- Share of low-achieving 15-year-olds in reading, mathematics, science should be less than 15%
- Share of low-achieving 8th-graders in computer, information literacy should be less than 15%
- At least 98% of children from age 3 & primary should participate in early childhood education
- Share of people aged 20-24 with at least an upper secondary qualification should be 90%
- Share of 30-34 year-olds with tertiary educational attainment should be at least 50%
- Quality investment in education and training
- Call for applications for the selection of member of the Expert Group on quality investment in education and training
- Boosting Social and Economic Resilience in Europe by Investing in Education (summary)
- Boosting Social and Economic Resilience in Europe by Investing in Education (full report)
COVID-19 and global income inequality | Sir Angus Deaton, Nobel Prize in Economics | There is a widespread belief that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased global income inequality, reducing per capita incomes by more in poor countries than in rich. This supposition is reasonable but false. Rich countries have experienced more deaths per head than have poor countries; their better health systems, higher incomes, more capable governments and better preparedness notwithstanding. The US did worse than some rich countries, but better than several others. Countries with more deaths saw larger declines in income. There was thus not only no trade-off between lives and income; fewer deaths meant more income. As a result, per capita incomes fell by more in higher-income countries. Country by country, international income inequality decreased. When countries are weighted by population, international income inequality increased, more in line with the original intuition. This was largely because Indian incomes fell, and because the disequalizing effect of declining Indian incomes was not offset by rising incomes in China, which is no longer a globally poor country. That these findings are a result of the pandemic is supported by comparing global inequality using IMF forecasts in October 2019 and October 2020.
The dynamics of human capital accumulation in the ex-communist countries in Europe in the context of globalization | Countries with a similar background before 1990, in the communist bloc in Europe, have begun since the 1990s to differentiate one from another in terms of development. Nowadays, in many aspects of the socio-economic environment, including welfare and labor productivity, the gaps between them are significant. Measurements done by World Bank Group through The Human Capital Project give us the opportunity to compare the achievements from the last 30 years of the ex-communist countries building strong democracies and open markets…
Promoting Social Inclusion in Kazakhstan through Community Engagement – A Book Club | Since 2017, the Youth Corps project (ZHAS) has brought together thousands of youth initiatives from different parts of Kazakhstan. By 2019, ZHAS had supported 9,800 young people and provided nearly 3,000 grants. While some initiatives focus on environmental issues like waste management, recycling, and pollution, others deal with unemployment, entrepreneurship, healthy lifestyle, journalism, and cultural heritage. The grants are mainly focused on building strong communities and social development. Launched in partnership with the World Bank and the Kazakh Ministry of Education and Science, the project has achieved remarkable results in supporting youth in their employment and professional development… Related:
- Watch this video in KAZAKH language
- PROJECT: Kazakhstan – Youth Corps Project
- VIDEO: Promoting Social Inclusion in Kazakhstan through Community Engagement – A Beauty Salon
- VIDEO: Promoting Social Inclusion in Kazakhstan through Community Engagement – Pottery
- STORY: Production of Handmade Toys Provides Income – And Hope – for Young People with Disabilities in Kazakhstan
- WEBSITE: World Bank in Kazakhstan
The value of language skills | A common language facilitates communication and economic efficiency, but linguistic diversity has economic and cultural value too |In today’s globalized world, people are increasingly mobile and often need to communicate across different languages. Learning a new language is an investment in human capital. Migrants must learn the language of their destination country, but even non-migrants must often learn other languages if their work involves communicating with foreigners. Economic studies have shown that fluency in a dominant language is important to economic success and increases economic efficiency. However, maintaining linguistic diversity also has value since language is also an expression of people’s culture.