Education must remain a global priority (News and Research 324)

Education must remain a political priority in all countries | Today, more than ever, we need to spark national and global efforts to end learning poverty. About two-thirds of children globally are in learning poverty. That is, they are unable to read and understand a simple text by the age of ten. That is unacceptable and a threat to the growth and development prospects of many countries. In most countries, the right to education is enshrined in constitutions and is a visible part of all political platforms.  But in most middle- and low-income countries, this right is, at best, only partially fulfilled.  In some cases, low quality education leads to poor student outcomes, and in others, basic education is not free or the education experience is interrupted by protracted conflict.

The lasting scars of education losses in Latin America and the Caribbean

COVID-19 will leave undeniable lasting consequences for generations as a core component of national strategies to contain the spread of the virus was to close schools temporarily. The interruption was not minor: on average, Latin American schools remained closed for almost one year and a half. There is great concern over the future economic cost of these closures. The crisis generated significant learning losses, which, if not remediated, will also cause a spike in dropout rates. In both cases, the result is a dramatic break in human capital formation that severely affects skill acquisition for those who remained in the system. As a result, children affected by the pandemic are likely to enter adult life with fewer skills than they would have otherwise, and consequently, they will have lower expected lifetime earnings.

Australia’s disadvantaged students excel in post-COVID test | Students around the world suffered from learning loss due to COVID-19 but disadvantaged children in Australian schools bucked the trend. A global study on the impact of COVID-19 on schools in 35 countries has found students in Australia and Denmark avoided learning loss. The World Bank survey found students in other countries suffered, on average, up to half a year’s learning loss. It also found students from disadvantaged schools were more likely to fall behind. But in Australia, new research found students at disadvantaged schools improved in certain areas of study. This was partly due to extra government funding and a keener focus on literacy in the wake of school closures…

Returns to Education in the Marriage Market: Bride Price and School Reform in Egypt | This paper posits marriage market returns as a contributing factor to stagnant female labor force participation despite increasing female education. The paper examines the marriage market returns of female education by exploiting a very direct measure of returns: bride price, a significant amount of resources transferred by the groom at the time of marriage. The paper also looks at current and future husband’s wages as additional sources of returns. It addresses endogeneity and identification issues by exploiting a school reform in Egypt that reduced the number of years required to complete primary education from six to five. The staggered rollout of the reform generates exogenous sources of variation in female schooling both across and within cohorts and administrative units. The analysis implements an instrumental variable estimator with fixed effects at the cohort and at the administrative unit level. The estimated return to a bride’s compulsory education is about 100% for bride price, about 14% for husband’s wage at the time of marriage, and about 16% for a measure of husband’s permanent income.

What makes a program good? Evidence from short-cycle higher education programs in five developing countries | Short-cycle higher education programs (SCPs) can play a central role in skill development and higher education expansion, yet their quality varies greatly within and among countries. In this paper we explore the relationship between programs’ practices and inputs (quality determinants) and student academic and labor market outcomes… Two practices predict improvements in all labor market outcomes in Brazil and Ecuador—teaching numerical competencies and providing job market information—and one practice—teaching numerical competencies—additionally predicts improvements in labor market outcomes for all survey countries. Since quality determinants account for 20-40 percent of the explained variation in student-level outcomes, quality determinants might have a role shrinking program quality gaps.

Education Ministry, German Scientific Research Center sign Memorandum of Cooperation | Georgian Education Ministry and German Scientific Research Center, GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, begin cooperation after the parties signed the memorandum in Frankfurt. According to the Ministry, the memorandum envisages partnership via implementation of joint educational and scientific-research projects.

The all-important literacy of students: how to promote it? | Every school year begins with questions about students’ reading skills. It continues, looking for ideas for improving the student’s reading skills, but at the end of the school year, it is summarized, which will be the starting point for the next stage of education. The concept of literacy, the improvement of literacy is a constantly discussed issue at different times, because literacy implies change, diversity, inclusion, refusal and the search for achievement…Likewise, literacy can be related to the student’s level of knowledge and skills in learning the content of another subject… Students who have a low quality of literacy are not ready to expand their experience at a higher level in the educational process and then also in the labor market (Psacharopoulos, Patrinos, 2018). This can be observed, for example, in situations where, during the learning of the curriculum, the student uses reading skills to solve problem questions, using the terminology adopted by a particular science…