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Education Plus Development

WATCH: How big is the learning crisis — and can we do anything about it?

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“Education is the civil rights struggle — the human rights struggle — of our generation: quality education for all. It’s the freedom fight that we’ve got to win.”

In a featured TED Talk released today, Amel Karboul, Secretary General of the Maghreb Economic Forum, Commissioner for the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity (Education Commission), and former Minister of Tourism for Tunisia, underscores the true urgency of the global learning crisis. Karboul begins with her own education story; how Tunisia’s first president made the bold decision to invest 20 percent of the national budget in education, expanding access to high quality, free education for millions of young Tunisians, including her. Without similar bold leadership to accelerate progress, Karboul argues, half of the world’s children and youth will be out of school or not learning by 2030.

In this video, Karboul makes a clear case that countries looking to address this learning crisis can and should learn from the “best in the class,” observing and drawing on successes taking place in countries making the fastest education improvements. She highlights the example of Media Center in Brazil, a case study also featured in the Brookings Millions Learning report, which demonstrates how an innovative distance learning model has provided high-quality secondary schooling to 300,000 students living in remote communities in the Amazon since 2007. Karboul acknowledges that identifying what is working is easier than implementing these lessons. In light of this, she highlights how the Education Commission is helping to train country leaders in a new methodology called the “delivery approach” that brings together multi-stakeholders in an education planning and follow up process.

Hoping to contribute to these implementation-related challenges as well, the Center for Universal Education’s Millions Learning Real-time Scaling Labs are taking a similar iterative, adaptive learning approach of collectively addressing technical and political-related challenges in scaling quality education initiatives.

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