Learning poverty becomes more pronounced, reports signal

Learning poverty has increased by a third in low- and middle-income countries, with an estimated 70 percent of 10-year-olds unable to understand a simple written text, a new report reveals.
This report comes at the back of the tenth high-level ministerial forum on Innovation Africa held in Lusaka, Zambia that focuses on major education projects, skills development and the upsurge in investments leveraging technology for education in Africa.
According to the new report published by the World Bank and its partners like UNESCO and UNICEF, the estimated rate was at 57 percent before the pandemic, but now the learning crisis has deepened. This generation of students now risks losing USD 21 trillion in potential lifetime earnings in present value, or the equivalent of 17 percent of today’s global GDP, up from the USD 17 trillion estimated in 2021.
This report titled, ‘The State of Global Learning Poverty: 2022 Update’, also tasks countries on the need to concentrate their efforts on the most cost-effective approaches to tackle learning poverty.
It states that these interventions must be implemented as part of a national learning recovery program that can also serve as a springboard for building more effective, equitable, and resilient education systems.
Benjamin Piper, Director of Global Education, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was quoted as saying, “We have solutions that can work at scale and in government systems. Committing to substantial learning recovery programs is a start, but the composition of those programs matter: measure learning outcomes, but also invest in improving instruction through structured pedagogy.”
In Africa, based on these suggestions, there are bright glimmers of hope for effective scalable education transformation as seen in some nations like the Liberia Education Advancement Program.
NewGlobe is one of the most widely talked about technical partners in education, supporting multiple state and national Governments in Africa to improve learning outcomes through system transformation.
All programs supported by NewGlobe empower every teacher with digital tools to deliver expertly planned lessons based on the local national curriculum.
This holistic learning methodology was the subject of a 2-year study led by 2019 Nobel Prize winning Professor Michael Kremer.
Hundreds of ministers and officials came across the continent attended the summit including delegations from Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda and South Africa.
High-level delegations along with counterparts from at least 24 other African countries engaged with other stakeholders on topics key to the education agenda of the summit.
Among the topics covered at Innovation Africa was digital transformation across Africa’s education sector, teacher training, digital strategies for school leaders, technology innovation and solutions for improving school connectivity, curriculum reforms.
The focus on education in this year’s event is pivotal to the learning poverty crisis currently faced in Africa and beyond.
The Innovation Africa summit education rich agenda provides an opportunity for African countries to fulfill this call to action, which is key as the learning poverty has become even more pronounced in post pandemic Africa.

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