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CGD’s education program focuses on broad welfare goals and seeks to understand the role education can play in addressing inequity. Despite the tremendous progress that has been made in getting girls and boys into school, education has not yet fulfilled its promise of being the great societal equalizer. Gender inequality remains acute and deeply rooted in the economic, political and social spheres in developing countries. Intergenerational mobility is declining, not increasing. Poor children get educated in bad schools where they do not acquire basic numeracy and literacy skills while rich children attend good schools.
Our research examines the mechanisms through which education can give children equal life opportunities and build the human capital that nations need to prosper.
The book compiles a vast amount of unpublished and published material on existing CTE programs and their impact on poverty. Groundbreaking case studies and detailed evaluations of programs in Mexico, Brazil, Bangladesh, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Chile add up to an unusual and surprising success story for skeptics of development and foreign aid.
Education is an end in itself, a human right, and a vital part of the capacity of individuals to lead lives they value. It gives people in developing countries the skills they need to improve their own lives and to help transform their societies. Women and men with better education earn more throughout their lives and participate more fully in the civic and political lives of their communities and countries. Particularly for women, education confers the skills and behaviors that lead to healthier lives. Education that reaches women, the poor, and marginalized ethnic groups not only benefits them directly; it contributes to a more equitable and just society.
This work quantifies how long it has taken countries rich and poor to make the transition towards high enrollments and gender parity. It finds that many countries that have not raised enrollments fast enough to meet the Millennium Development Goals have in fact raised enrollments extraordinarily rapidly by historical standards and deserve celebration rather than condemnation. The very few poor countries that have raised enrollment figures at the rates envisioned by the goals have done so in many cases by accepting dramatic declines in schooling quality, failing large numbers of students, or other practices that cast doubt on the sustainability or exportability of their techniques.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are unlikely to be met by 2015, even if huge increases in development assistance materialize. The rates of progress required by many of the goals are at the edges of or beyond historical precedent. Many countries making extraordinarily rapid progress on MDG indicators, due in large part to aid, will nonetheless not reach the MDGs. Unrealistic targets thus may turn successes into perceptions of failure, serving to undermine future constituencies for aid (in donors) and reform (in recipients). This would be unfortunate given the vital role of aid and reform in the development process and the need for long-term, sustained aid commitments.
69% surveyed said girls in developing countries at greater risk than boys
Center for Global Development
WASHINGTON - School closures in response to COVID-19 are putting girls in developing countries at a substantial risk of gender-based violence, early pregnancy, and dropping out once schools reopen, according to a new survey from the Center for Global Development (CGD).
The survey includes responses from 98 staff at 82 different NGOs and other organizations that provide education services in at least 32 countries. About half the organizations were based on the African continent, with the rest concentrated across Asia, Latin America, and elsewhere. The organizations include school operators, other education providers, and groups that focus on children’s rights, childcare, gender equality, health, and more.
69% of respondents at education organizations said that school closures will disproportionately affect girls. Furthermore,
78% of respondents cited increased exposure to gender-based violence during school closures as an important or very important concern.
69% ranked girls not returning to school once they reopen as an important or very important concern.
68% ranked early marriage and pregnancy among school-age girls during the pandemic as an important or very important concern.
Of those respondents who believed girls would be disproportionately affected, 52% cited increased care responsibilities at home during the pandemic as a barrier to girls' studies, widening the gender education gap.
“COVID-19 obviously presents immediate health needs that countries and donors need to deal with. But it’s also critically important to not lose sight of the gendered risks it creates. The evidence is clear that, from violence to care work, girls are disproportionately affected by school closures. Governments need to support the efforts of frontline organizations working to address these risks,” said Maryam Akmal, senior policy analyst at CGD and an author of the report.
As COVID school closures have increased risks for children, it’s also curtailed the ability of some education organizations to respond. Nearly half (42%) of education service providers say their budgets have been slashed, with most of those (73%) reporting cuts by private donors and philanthropies as donors shifts their focus. 33% of respondents said their organizations anticipate layoffs of frontline staff. Despite the financial and operational disruptions, 89% of respondents report planning and delivering additional interventions during the pandemic.
“Education organizations are on the front lines helping deal with the risks introduced by the pandemic, risks which disproportionately affect girls. But just as the pandemic is heightening the risks for girls, budget cuts are hurting the organizations that could help mitigate them. There are pressing needs across the board, but international donors and governments need to step up and ensure that girls don’t get left behind,” said Megan O’Donnell, assistant director for gender at CGD and an author of the report.
The report of the study is available here, along with the survey data: https://www.cgdev.org/publication/gendered-impacts-covid-19-school-closures-insights-frontline-organizations.