Protecting Education (News and Research 282)

World Bank Mobilizes an Emergency Financing Package of over $700 million for Ukraine| The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a supplemental budget support package for Ukraine, called Financing of Recovery from Economic Emergency in Ukraine – or FREE Ukraine – for $489 million. The package approved by the Board consists of a supplemental loan for $350 million and guarantees in the amount of $139 million and is also mobilizing grant financing of $134 million and parallel financing of $100 million, resulting in total mobilized support of $723 million. The fast-disbursing support will help the government provide critical services to Ukrainian people, including wages for hospital workers, pensions for the elderly, and social programs for the vulnerable.

The proportion of NEET youth in Kazakhstan has decreased – World Bank | Kazakhstan has completed the implementation of a joint project of the Ministry of Education and Science and the World Bank – the development of the youth corps Zhas Project. The results of the project were discussed at a round table with the participation of representatives of central and local government authorities, the World Bank, Swiss agencies, experts, representatives of non-governmental organizations, and the main stakeholders of the project – youth. On February 23, 2022, in Nur-Sultan, the results of the Zhas Project youth corps development project were presented to the public. The project started in 2017 in Almaty, Karaganda, Pavlodar, and South Kazakhstan regions in a pilot mode and in 4 years covered young people from all regions of Kazakhstan. During this time, more than 9,000 young Kazakhstanis were able to implement more than 2,900 projects. During the round table, Tatyana Proskuryakova, World Bank Regional Director for Central Asia, noted Kazakhstan’s achievements in youth development. “I am very grateful to the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan for the implementation of this project. I also want to thank the Ministry of Information and Social Development and the Committee for Youth Affairs for supporting the project. because caring and competent young people are the engine of the development of society and can change the trajectory of development not only of their region and city but of the whole country, so I am pleased to note that Kazakhstan has made great strides in this area. As for young people who are not involved in education and work, their share in Kazakhstan in 2019 decreased from 18.60% to 7.2%,” he said. Proskuryakova during a round table on the results of the project “Development of the Youth Corps”. It should be noted that the project was financed on the basis of a grant agreement between Kazakhstan and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development for a total amount of 7 billion 896 thousand tenge. Recall that at the first stage of the project, young people with disabilities were selected for education or employment. For this, a specially developed outreach method was used – targeted work to attract the target audience to the project. The project pays special attention to rural youth and youth of the NEET category (not in education, employment or training) – these are young people who do not study and do not work, or work, but have a low income, due to various circumstances. One of the priorities of the project was to attract young girls who are married and subsequently have a higher education, but who do not have the opportunity to realize their potential in society. Selected participants learned the basics of project management as well as life skills: resume writing, budgeting and time management. The third phase of the project was practical training. The teams received grants of up to 1 million tenge. Within 5-6 months, the participants implemented their ideas in the form of social projects in various areas: from education and rural development to patriotic education and volunteering.

Online Dissemination Event: Analysis of Teaching and Learning in Armenia | Education Stakeholders in Armenia and the World Bank | On March 3 2022, the World Bank’s Armenia Education team hosted a virtual stakeholder consultation session, Analysis of Teaching and Learning in Armenia, jointly with the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Armenia. The event focused on the critical issue of learning challenges in Armenia. Introductory remarks from Country Manager Carolin Geginat summarized the importance of learning, the World Bank’s ongoing education engagement with Armenia and the country’s education policy priorities, a presentation was delivered by Isil Oral Savonitto, and Renata Lemos moderated the discussion with stakeholders. The purpose of the event was to share the findings of two studies (i) Analysis of Learning in Armenia and (ii) Teach Armenia that were performed in tandem in 2021 with the relevant education stakeholders in Armenia and get their reactions and potential suggestions before the studies are published. These studies form part of the ongoing South Caucasus Education ASA (P174980).

The impact of COVID-19 on the education of disadvantaged children and the socio-economic consequences thereof | This report responds to the need among EU and national-level stakeholders to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the learning progress of disadvantaged children, and how the educational inequality that has increased during the pandemic can be reduced and mitigated over the coming years. The report looks at both the current widening gap in learning progress between disadvantaged children and their peers, as well as the impact this may have on their social and economic opportunities in the future. As a result, the report provides both short- and medium-term recommendations to address these disruptions to the learning progress, as well as long-term recommendations to reduce social and economic inequality in the future.

Cartografar a Crise Global de Aprendizagem(Mapping the Global Learning Crisis article in Education Next now published in Portuguese) | Apesar de se ter atingido, nas escolas de todo o mundo, um número recorde de matrículas, a aprendizagem é limitada

The Impact Evaluation of Vietnam’s Escuela Nueva (New School) Program on Students’ Cognitive and Non-cognitive Skills | This paper evaluates how Vietnam’s Escuela Nueva (VNEN) program, an educational reform for primary schools supported by the World Bank, affected the cognitive (mathematics and Vietnamese) and non-cognitive (socioemotional) skills of students in that country. We use propensity score matching to estimate both short-term (1-3 years) and long-term (5-7 years) average treatment effects on the treated (ATT). We find that the impacts of VNEN on students’ cognitive skills are relatively small in the short-term, and that they are larger for boys, ethnic minorities, and students in Northern Vietnam. The VNEN program modestly increased primary school students’ non-cognitive skills in the short-term; these impacts on non-cognitive skills are sizable and significant for ethnic minority students, although there seems to be little gender difference. The long-term impacts are less precisely estimated, but they appear to fade away, showing little or no impact of the VNEN program on cognitive skills. There is little variation of long-term impacts by gender or geographical region, although the imprecision of the estimates for ethnic minority students does not allow us to rule out large long-term impacts on cognitive skills for those students. The program’s impacts on non-cognitive skills also seem to have dissipated in the long-term. (This is an evaluation of a World Bank project funded by GPE: Vietnam Escuela Nueva, developed by Suhas Parandekar. See the evaluation he co-authored: Enhancing School Quality in Vietnam through Participative and Collaborative Learning.)

Commission takes action to improve lifelong learning and employability | At the Porto Social Summit in May, EU Leaders welcomed the EU-level target of 60% of all adults taking part in training every year by 2030. The Commission has taken an important step in helping Member States meet this target by presenting proposals for Council Recommendations on individual learning accounts and on micro-credentials.

The Long-Run Effects of Recessions on Education and Income | This paper examines the long-run effects of the 1980–1982 recession on education and income. Using confidential census data, I estimate difference-in-difference regressions that exploit variation across counties in recession severity and across cohorts in age at the time of the recession. For individuals age 0–10 in 1979, a 10 percent decrease in earnings per capita in their county of birth reduces four-year college degree attainment by 15 percent and earnings in adulthood by 5 percent. Simple calculations suggest that in aggregate, the 1980–1982 recession led to 1.3–2.8 million fewer college graduates and $66–$139 billion less earned income per year.

The Design of Teacher Assignment: Theory and Evidence | To assign teachers to schools, a modified version of the well-known deferred acceptance mechanism has been proposed in the literature and is used in practice. We show that this mechanism fails to be fair and efficient for both teachers and schools. We identify a class of strategy-proof mechanisms that cannot be improved upon in terms of both efficiency and fairness. Using a rich dataset on teachers’ applications in France, we estimate teachers preferences and perform a counterfactual analysis. The results show that these mechanisms perform much better than the modified version of deferred acceptance. For instance, the number of teachers moving from their positions more than triples under our mechanism.

Goals and Gaps: Educational Careers of Immigrant Children | We study the educational choices of children of immigrants in a tracked school system. We first show that immigrants in Italy enroll disproportionately into vocational high schools, as opposed to technical and academically-oriented ones, compared to natives of similar ability. The gap is greater for male students and it mirrors an analogous differential in grade retention. We then estimate the impact of a large-scale, randomized intervention providing tutoring and career counseling to high-ability immigrant students. Male treated students increase their probability of enrolling into the high track to the same level of natives, also closing the gap in grade retention. There are no significant effects on immigrant girls, who exhibit similar choices and performance as native ones in absence of the intervention. Increases in academic motivation and changes in teachers’ recommendation regarding high school choice explain a sizable portion of the effect. Finally, we find positive spillovers on immigrant classmates of treated students, while there is no effect on native classmates.