News and Research 239

Spring 2021 issue of the ECA Economic Update features Data, Digitalization, and Governance. Governments play a critical role in the economies of Europe and Central Asia, where government expenditures are close to 40 percent of gross domestic product and the public sector accounts for over 25 percent of total employment, much higher than the global average of 16 percent. The public sector often attracts some of the best educated workers in the region. And support for a larger public sector is increasing due to aging populations and their growing health care and long-term care needs, rising inequality and greater support for redistribution, and increasing expenditures as governments address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis. The significant role that government plays underscores the importance of the quality of governance in determining productivity and growth and effectively responding to the region’s economic and social challenges…

The Impact of COVID-19 on Education – Recommendations and Opportunities for Ukraine | Robin Donnelly, Harry A. Patrinos, James Gresham | School closures due to COVID-19 have brought significant disruptions to education across Europe. Emerging evidence from some of the region’s highest-income countries indicate that the pandemic is giving rise to learning losses and increases in inequality. To reduce and reverse the long-term negative effects, Ukraine and other less-affluent lower-middle-income countries, which are likely to be even harder hit, need to implement learning recovery programs, protect educational budgets, and prepare for future shocks by “building back better.” Ukraine also implemented measures to support remote teaching and learning.

Slow-Healing Scars: The Pandemic’s Legacy | How to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic – first, reverse the setback to human capital accumulation: expand social safety nets and adequately fund healthcare and education

Investing in Human Capital for a Resilient Recovery: The role of public finance | The Approach Paper considers the role of public finance to build, protect and utilize human capital as countries seek to recover from the COVID-19 crisis and lay a foundation for inclusive, resilient and sustainable development. The paper defines the problem with respect to human capital outcomes amid the COVID-19 crisis and outlines three areas for action, including policy priorities, governance, and fiscal space for building and utilizing human capital. The paper highlights recent innovations and illustrates actionable steps for the short term as well as directions for the longer term by country context with the overarching objective to support a resilient recovery.

Education for the 20th century! | “A majority of what is taught today in primary and secondary classrooms is based on a mid-19th-century Prussian model of education…”

Japan’s GIGA School Program equips students for digital society | Japan is moving forward by three years its ¥461 billion ($4.4 billion) plan to digitalize education among the country’s nearly 13 million primary and secondary school students and in its almost 35,000 schools.

China Implements Range of Reforms to Promote More Well-Rounded Education | China’s Ministry of Education announced new school evaluation requirements this week. Schools in China will soon see a range of policies aimed at reducing competition, promoting equity, and helping students to develop a broader set of skills. Among the requirements are mandates that teacher and school evaluations be based on broader measures than solely students’ performance on standardized tests, and banning segregating students into single classes or schools based on exam results. At the same time the Shanghai Municipal Education has announced a new set of requirements for admission into secondary schools. Students currently apply based on centralized exam results, individual schools’ admissions exams, and an entrance interview. The new requirements reduce the weight of individual schools’ exams, make entrance interviews more important, and factor in students’ participation in sports and other extracurriculars to reward more well-rounded development of students.

The silent brain drain of the Balkans | It has become one of the most pressing issues in the region and there’s no silver bullet to fix it. An edict published in 1274 stated that “no citizen or inhabitant of the city of Bologna may attempt to take students away from the city with the intention of continuing the studium elsewhere”. Later, the rule was fortified with a death penalty, the medieval way to strike back against the ‘brain drain’ – the migration of highly skilled professionals. Now, a few centuries later, citizens on the other shore of the Adriatic Sea face a similar problem; but how should countries in the modern world tackle ‘brain drain’?

HLO (Harmonized Learning Outcomes)

What’s new in the Development Data Hub? The  Development Data Hub (DDH) lets you search and share the World Bank’s microdata, geospatial data and time series statistics. The DDH team also supports staff to acquire, curate, manage and disseminate data within the Bank and to the public. You can search for new and updated data on the DDH – new: Harmonized Learning Outcomes: The increasing use of international achievement tests is an important step towards understanding the formation of global human capital through comparable learning metrics. However, such tests are administered primarily in high-income countries, limiting our ability to understand learning patterns in low- and middle-income countries. The Harmonized Learning Outcomes database bridges this gap by constructing a globally comparable database of 164 countries from 2000 to 2017, representing 98% of the global population.

Tackling the global learning crisis (Japan Times) | Because tracking learning progress across countries requires a set of common metrics, the World Bank has built a database of Harmonized Learning Outcomes, comprising data from 164 countries between 2000 and 2017.

Hvordan håndtere den globale utdanningskrisen (Agenda Magasin) | Verdensbanken har derfor bygget opp en database av sammenlignbare læringsresultater (Harmonized Learning Outcomes) som består av data fra 164 land …