A Poll of Education Officials in 35 Countries: Three Reasons the Idea of a “Learning Crisis” Isn’t Getting Traction
With half of kids in low- and middle-income countries unable to read a simple story by the end of primary school, international organizations and foreign aid donors have declared a “global learning crisis.”
The crisis framing has coincided with a shift in policy messaging from many big international donors in the education sector. To oversimplify a bit, education access is out, school quality is in. The World Bank, UNICEF, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Gates Foundation all promote greater emphasis on “foundational skills,” implying a renewed focus on basic literacy and numeracy in primary school, measured through an increased use of standardized testing.