Education has long been critical to human welfare, but it is even more so in a time of rapid economic and social change. The best way to equip children and youth for the future is to give them strong foundational skills that will allow them to learn throughout their careers and their lives. Despite big global gains in access to education, many children around the world are leaving school unequipped with even foundational literacy and numeracy skills, let alone higher-order 21st-century skills. Many middle-income countries lag far behind as well.
On October 4, Brookings co-hosted a panel discussion on education and learning for a changing world. The event opened with a presentation on “LEARNING to Realize Education’s Promise,” the topic of the World Bank’s World Development Report 2018. A panel featuring experts on system-wide reforms to improve education quality, funding for global education, and delivering basic education in poor countries followed.
Panelists discussed new data to diagnose what is causing this learning crisis and how to tackle it. They examined learning metrics, evidence-based programs to make schools work for learners, and funding challenges. They also touched on how to overcome stubborn system-level technical and political barriers to learning.