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World bank bemoans ‘global learning crisis’

World bank bemoans ‘global learning crisis’

87, 000 Botswana graduates unemployed

The World Development Report 2018 has uncovered alarming facts on the global education system and warns of an education crisis.

The report, conducted by the World Bank under the title ‘Learning to Realize Education’s Promise’, suggests even after several years in school, millions of children around the globe are unable to read, write or do basic math.

“Without these skills, students around the world are being denied opportunities to lead healthy and productive lives while maximizing their contribution to national economic development,” reads part of the report.

It further described Education as ‘one of the best investments government and citizens can make’ with the potential to develop the human capital to end extreme poverty.

“Without quality education, developing countries will continue to fall behind as they face an acute shortage of essential skills,” it warns.

This Tuesday, World Bank Botswana held a consultative meeting with development partners, private sector representatives, government officials and education stakeholders to share and discuss the report’s conclusions in relation to the serious challenges facing Botswana’s education sector.

Part of a statement from the office reads, “Botswana’s secondary education system is presently generating too many graduates who do not possess the skills necessary to become productive members of Botswana’s economy. According to the latest data, 34 percent (87, 000) of Botswana’s young graduates are presently unemployed.”

The statement continues it is therefore critical the Government and other education stakeholders improve the quality of learning taking place in Botswana’s public schools to ensure the nation’s future economic competitiveness.

“One of the ways in which Botswana can reap the demographic dividend is through the provision of quality education and learning,” said Xavier Furtado, World Bank Country Representative for Botswana at the meeting.

Furtado continued that the World Bank is committed and ready to support reforms to the education sector so that Botswana can succeed in its transition to a knowledge-based economy and young Batswana gain the skills necessary to lead successful and productive lives.

Apart from the disheartening findings on the state of education, the report also made three recommendations. These included assessing learning such that it becomes a measurable goal, making schools work for all children by levelling the playing field by reducing stunting and promoting brain development through early nutrition and stimulation.

The report’s third recommendation is to mobilise all stakeholders in education by using information and metrics to mobilise citizens, increase accountability, and create the political will for education reform.