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Past Event

Launch | Millions Learning: Scaling Quality Education in Developing Countries

Past Event

Why focus on scaling learning for children and youth in developing countries?

Event Report

Brookings India in collaboration with the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C., launched the report Millions Learning: Scaling up quality education in developing countries. This report tells the story of where and how quality education has scaled in low- and middle-income countries. The story emerges from wide-ranging research on scaling and learning, including 14 in-depth case studies from around the globe. Ultimately, Millions Learning finds that from the slums of New Delhi to the rainforest in Brazil, transformational change in children’s learning is happening at large scale in many places around the world. The report finds that successful scaling of quality learning often occurs when new approaches and ideas are allowed to develop and grow on the margins and then spread to reach many more children and youth.

The report identifies 14 core ingredients that contribute to scaling quality learning. They include essential elements for designing, delivering, financing, and enabling the scaling of quality education.

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Key recommendations which came out the report are as follows:

DEVELOP a culture of R&D in education
Leaders   across   all   parts   of   the   education   ecosystem—from Government to   civil   society   to   business—must   embrace   new approaches to solving problems at scale. Building a strong culture of research and development (R&D) within the education ecosystem is a key step. Governments should provide the policy space, funding, and infrastructure support necessary to try new approaches to persistent problems. Donors, civil society, governments, and business should work together to cultivate a cohort of Learning Leaders who have the skills and attributes necessary for pushing forward a culture of R&D in education.

SHARE New ideas through a network of idea hubs
Leaders  in  governments,  in  partnership  with  civil  society  and  the private  sector,  should  establish  Idea  Hubs  for  identifying,  adapting, and  sharing  effective  approaches  to  improving  learning  and  scaling them.  The Idea Hubs should be nimble mechanisms  that  allow decision-makers to stay up to date with rapidly changing innovations. Approaches led  by  all  actors—government,  educators,  business,  civil society—should be discussed. These hubs should be linked through a global network to allow for experiences and lessons shared between countries and among regional and global actors.

ACTIVATE Talent and expertise outside the classroom
To  scale  quality  learning  in  the  developing  world,  including  in  the communities that are hardest to reach, a creative injection of support and  energy  is  needed.  Teachers  and  other  education  personnel who  are  on  the  front  lines  are  overburdened  and  require  tangible assistance. For addressing tough education problems, expertise from diverse  actors  outside  schools  can  be  one  important  source  of  this support.  From  nonprofit  workers  and  young  graduates  to  business professionals  and  technology  specialists,  different  types  of  expertise can be strategically tapped to assist educators, elevate them in their roles,  and  help  reach  children  who  are  falling  through  the  cracks. Governments,   civil   society,   and   the   business   community   should launch bold All-In Community initiatives, including through leveraging technology,  to  support  teachers  and  other  education  personnel  in their respective countries.

FUND The middle phase
This is crucial to help effective education approaches cross the “valley of  death”  to  scale.  Too often,  promising  approaches  fall  victim  to  a funding gap between new ideas or prototypes and implementation at a national level. Governments, donor agencies, foundations, and investors should  develop  a  more  organized  ecosystem  of  education  funding  to  support  scaling.  Additionally,  donor  agencies  and  foundations  should provide  flexible  support,  including  for  core  costs,  which  is  crucial  for  building scaling capacity.

MEASURE AND LEARN What works through better learning and scaling data
Government  and  donor  agencies  should  strengthen  national student  assessment  systems,  particularly  in  developing  countries where data are sporadic and often of limited use. Data on student learning should start at the classroom level and be used by teachers and  move  up  through  national  level  data  on  what  children  can know  and  do.  In particular, new ways of  helping  teachers  assess 21st-century skills will be essential. This is in line with the Learning Metrics Task Force recommendation on learning data as a global good.  The research  community  should  improve  data  on  scaling through  a  Real-time  Scaling  Lab.  Such  a  forum  would  provide space  to  examine  and  document  the  process  of  scaling  effective  approaches to learning as they unfold, contributing to building a body of evidence on how to scale quality learning interventions.

Case Studies from India:
Aflatoun
Pratham’s Read India Program
Room to Read
Sesame Street
Worldreader

Read the full report here
Click here to view the presentation

Like other products of the Brookings Institution India Center, this report is intended to contribute to discussion and stimulate debate on important issues. Brookings India does not have any institutional views.

Event Announcement

Public Event. Please RSVP info@brookingsindia.org to attend.

Brookings India is hosting the launch of a report on Millions Learning: Scaling Quality Education in Developing Countries in New Delhi.

The report will focus on the theme of scaling, bringing together policymakers, practitioners, academics, and donors within the international development community to discuss key factors that contribute to scaling in education. Drawing from programmes and policies from around the world contributing to large-scale gains in learning, the report will offer key lessons and insights to help inform what the public, private, and social sectors can do to more actively scale up quality learning in low- and middle-income countries. The event will focus on applying Millions Learning recommendations to an India context, particularly the establishment of a Real-Time Scaling Lab to provide a space for ongoing experimentation and learning.

Speakers:
Rukmini Banerji, Chief Executive Officer, Pratham
Sashwati Banerjee, Managing Director, Sesame Workshop
Venkatesh Malur, President, Sampark Foundation
Subhash Khuntia, Secretary to the Department of School Education and Literacy (TBC)

Moderator:
Rebecca Winthrop, Senior Fellow & Director, Center for Universal Education, The Brookings Institution

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