5:13 pm - Wednesday April 18, 6323

WB doubles education aid to $5b

Poor education quality has ‘serious consequences’ for ending extreme poverty, says the World Bank ahead of World Education Forum 2015.

In 2015, WB president Jim Yong Kim notes, the poorest children have just a slim chance of finishing primary school in many countries.

“Most education systems are not serving the poorest children well. An estimated 250 million children cannot read or write-even though many have attended school for years. This is a tragedy and has serious consequences for ending extreme poverty,” he observes.

Against this backdrop, the global agency announced that it will double results-based financing for education to US$5 billion over the next five years.

A WB news release said on Tuesday that the new financing is part of the Bank Group’s commitment to end extreme poverty in the world by 2030 by improving both the quality and equity of education, so that all children are learning the skills they need to lead more prosperous lives.

The WB president also wrote in an article that nearly one billion people remain trapped in extreme poverty today, partly because they lack these skills. “To end poverty, we will have to ensure that education provided to the poorest families is modeled on using smarter and more evidence-based solutions,” he insisted.

More than 160 countries are meeting in Korea this week to discuss on a new goal and framework for action on education for the next 15 years.

This will be part of the Sustainable Development Goals to be adopted by the United Nations in September, which will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) coming to an end this year.

Despite much progress, 121 million children around the world remain out of primary and lower secondary school, according to official estimate. Most of these kids are the hardest to reach, due to poverty, gender barriers, remoteness, and disability.

The WB release said the new global goal for 2030 is not only to get all the remaining children in school but also make sure they are learning the literacy, math, and non-cognitive skills they need to escape extreme poverty, share in the benefits of economic growth, and drive innovation and job creation.

-Prothom Alo