Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

A Learning Profile for Bangladesh: Too Darn Flat

Many learning assessments only evaluate children of a given age (e.g. PISA for age 15) or grade.  This approach gives a snapshot that can be compared across countries and produces differentials in learning across 15 year olds (e.g.

7 Questions About Low-Cost Private Schools in India That We Can Finally Answer

Low-cost private schools are popping up rapidly in many parts of the developing world, especially India where even in rural areas 28% of students attend private schools.  Should governments be supporting these schools as a cheap way to boost learning for the poor?  Or is privatization reducing equity and undermining public institutions?   A year ago I participated in a somewhat heated online debate on this topic, see here and here.

A Malala Day for Learning

Malala Yousafzai’s story of overcoming the Taliban’s attempt to silence her is inspirational.  Her speech at the UN Malala Day celebration, which I had the pleasure to attend, was impressive in every respect, including her commitment to her faith and the kindness she could show to her attackers.  It moved the crowd to tears, and to its feet.  When I compare what I was doing on my 16th birthday to what she is doing, well, it is pretty humbling.

Schooling Isn’t Learning

In 2010, World Bank statistics report that Guinea-Bissau had a youth literacy rate of 72%.  That means seven in ten people aged 15-24 were estimated to be able to read and write a simple paragraph.  The estimate was probably made on the basis of that many kids having been in school long enough that they should have easily mastered such a basic skill.  The official net enrollment rate was 74% --about three quarters of primary-age kids were enrolled in school.