COVID-related school closures risk pushing an additional 72 million primary school aged children into learning poverty—meaning that they are unable to read and understand a simple text by age 10—according to two new World Bank reports released on December 2nd.
The pandemic is amplifying the global learning crisis that already existed: it could increase the percentage of primary school-age children in low- and middle-income countries living in learning poverty to 63 percent from 53 percent, and it puts this generation of students at risk of losing about $10 trillion in future life-time earnings, an amount equivalent to almost 10 percent of global GDP (...)
“Without urgent action, this generation of students may never achieve their full capabilities and earnings potential, and countries will lose essential human capital to sustain long-term economic growth,” said Mamta Murthi, World Bank Vice President for Human Development, in the launch event. “Having over half of children worldwide in learning poverty is unacceptable, and so we cannot continue with business as usual in education delivery. Through visionary and bold action, policymakers and stakeholders around the globe can turn this crisis into a boon to transform education systems so that all children can truly achieve learning with joy, rigor, and purpose, everywhere.”