NEW YORK, 18 September 2016 – More than two-thirds of schoolchildren in low-income countries will not learn basic primary level skills in 2030 despite an ambitious goal to get every child in school and learning, according to a report launched today by the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity.
The Learning Generation: Investing in Education for a Changing World notes that without an urgent increase in education investments by national governments, children in low-income countries will remain trapped in intergenerational cycles of poverty and be left without the skills and knowledge they need to contribute to their societies and economies when they reach adulthood.
“Every child, in every country, in every neighbourhood, in every household, has the right not only to a seat in a classroom, but to a quality education – starting in the early years of life, the single most important stage of brain development,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “We need to invest early, invest in quality, and invest in equity – or pay the price of a generation of children condemned to grow up without the knowledge and skills they need to reach their potential.”
The report shows that more than 1.5 billion adults will have no education beyond primary school in 2030. UNICEF backs the recommendations made in the report and calls for an increase in national education expenditure from 3 per cent to 5 per cent to help address what could be a global education crisis.
Other key findings from the report:
- Only half of primary-aged schoolchildren and little more than a quarter of secondary-aged schoolchildren in low- and middle-income countries are learning basic skills.
- 330 million primary and secondary school students do not achieve even the most basic learning outcomes.
- The crisis is growing as populations grow – there will be an estimated 1.4 billion school-age children in low- and middle-income countries by 2030.
- Twice as many girls as boys will never start school.
“We face the civil rights struggle of our generation – the demand of young people for their right to education and the ticking time bomb of discontent that results from the betrayal of the hopes of half of an entire generation,” said Chair of the Education Commission and UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown. “We cannot accept another year or decade like this. The Commission aims to unlock the biggest expansion of educational opportunity in modern history.”
# # #
Notes to Editors:
A Financing Compact for the Learning Generation: 12 recommendations to get all children learning
I.Performance – Successful education systems put results front and center
- Set standards, track progress and make information public
- Invest in what delivers the best results
- Cut waste
II. Innovation – Successful education systems develop new and creative approaches to achieving results
- Strengthen and diversify the education workforce
- Harness technology for teaching and learning
- Improve partnerships with non-state actors
III. Inclusion – Successful education systems reach everyone, including the most disadvantaged and marginalized
- Prioritise the poor and early years – progressive universalism
- Invest across sectors to tackle the factors preventing learning
IV.Finance – Successful education systems require more and better investment
- Mobilize more and better domestic resources for education
- Increase the international financing of education and improve its effectiveness
- Establish a Multilateral Development Bank (MDB) investment mechanism for education
- Ensure leadership and accountability for the Learning Generation
Ethiopia specific information:
With the interest of gauging learning outcomes as a means of measuring the quality of education, the country has institutionalised National Learning Assessments (NLA) along with early grade reading and mathematics assessment. Successive reports of the NLA showed low learning outcomes at Grades 4 and 8, signifying access to education has not been accompanied by quality.
Five national sample learning assessments for Grades 4 and 8 indicated that only half of the students at Grades 4 and 8 met the achievements expected -50 per cent- of their grade levels. The recent NLA report showed students’ achievement to be below the required level with 42.9 per cent and 43.5 per cent for the two grades respectively (National Learning Assessment, Ministry of Education: 2013).
About The International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity
The International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity (The Education Commission) is a major global initiative engaging world leaders, policy makers and researchers to develop a renewed and compelling investment case and financing pathway for achieving equal educational opportunity for children and young people.
This report is the culmination of a year-long analysis involving over 30 research institutions and consultations with 300 partners across 105 countries.
The report is available at: http://report.educationcommission.org
For more information, please contact:
Georgina Thompson, UNICEF New York, Mobile: + 1 917 238 1559, firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexandra Westerbeek, UNICEF Ethiopia, +251 911 255109 email@example.com