Policy Memos and Open Letters

Averting the Looming Global Education Crisis (Open Letter to Nancy Birdsall)

4/18/11
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Desmond Bermingham recaps the consensus from a CGD discussion about what to do about a hidden crisis in global education. He offers his top-12 tasks for delivery on global commitment to give all children a good education.

From the letter:

The key message from a discussion held at the Center for Global Development last summer (and from the Education for All Global Monitoring Report published last month) was that many developing countries had made great progress in the education sector over the past decade, but there is a hidden crisis looming in the sector.
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After a decade of remarkable achievement, some of the poorest and most vulnerable countries are in serious danger of stagnating or even going backwards. There are still just under 70 million children who do not even have access to primary school. According to some estimates, 10 times that number do not stay in school long enough to acquire even the basic knowledge and skills they need to survive in the modern world.
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The good news is that it is within our power to avert the looming education crisis. . . . If we make the right decisions now, we can ensure that within the next two decades every child in the world will have the chance of a good education. This education will not be delivered through face-to-face teaching in schools as we know them now. The traditional approaches to teaching and learning will not be sufficient to develop the creative, problem-solving world citizens that we will need for the future. This will only be achieved by new partners and new approaches to achieving the education goals.