A crisis -teaching or learning?

From the World Bank blog:

Despite tremendous progress in getting children into the classroom, we are experiencing a global learning crisis, where a large share of children complete primary school lacking even basic reading, writing, and arithmetic skills. What explains this phenomenon? To answer this question, consider the following examples of classrooms that are unlikely to put students on a path to success. 

In Kabul, Afghanistan, a teacher begins his lesson by reading out the learning objective. He then asks one student after another to read the same information again. Over 20 minutes are spent on this activity.
In Dar es Salam, Tanzania, students are left unattended with no learning activity for the first 20 minutes of class. When the teacher arrives, he asks the students to independently solve 36 plus 19. During this time, the teacher sits at his desk. After 10 minutes, the teacher asks one student to solve the problem. When the student can’t solve it, the teacher asks another student to do it.
In Rawalpindi, Pakistan, a teacher asks students to divide four by two. He gives the students five minutes to solve the problem independently before asking a student to solve it on the board. After the student correctly solves the problem, the teacher erases it from the board and asks five more students to solve the exact same problem again.
These are not isolated examples. A growing body of evidence suggests the learning crisis is at its core, a teaching crisis (see evidence from Afghanistan, Latin America, the Philippines, and Sub-Saharan Africa). Teachers play a critical role in helping students learn (see evidence from India, Pakistan, and Uganda). However, teacher’s formal education, years of experience (beyond the first two), cognitive skills, and entry exam performance only explain a small fraction of the variation in student learning. Research from Chile, Ecuador, and Ghana highlights the crucial role teaching practices play in explaining student learning outcomes. Despite its importance, low- and middle-income countries rarely measure teaching practices. This is due, in part, to a lack of adequate classroom observation tools and high transaction costs associated with administering them.

We would not want to underestimate the power of a good teacher and certainly many teachers need further support and training -but are we missing out the student in the learning equation?

Escuela Nueva has shown the importance of engaging students through a student government and seeing students as partners rather than as objects to be ‘taught’.

We do need a revolution in education, one where we use the new research on learning from neuroscience, link it to the rights of children and provide education opportunities for all, with a very different future in mind.

Nurturing care for early childhood development

I am not sure how long it will take before governments take the importance of ECD more seriously but there are a number of initiatives,that can help:

[FRAMEWORK] Nurturing care for early childhood development
WHO, UNICEF, World Bank Group

The Nurturing Care Framework was created in response to strong evidence and growing recognition that the early years are critical for human development. It sets out the most effective policies and services that will help parents and caregivers provide nurturing care for babies. To reach their full potential, children need the five inter-related and indivisible components of nurturing care: good health, adequate nutrition, safety and security, responsive caregiving and opportunities for learning.Investing in early childhood development is one of the best investments a country can make to boost economic growth, promote peaceful and sustainable societies, and eliminate extreme poverty and inequality. Equally important, investing in early childhood development is necessary to uphold the right of every child to survive and thrive. The Framework provides an evidence-based road map for acton and outlines how policies and services can support parents, families, other caregivers and communities in providing nurturing care for young children. It calls for attention to be paid to communities where children are most at risk of being left behind.

The Nurturing Care Framework is designed to mobilise a coalition of parents and caregivers, national governments, civil society groups, academics, the United Nations, the private sector, educational institutions and service providers to ensure every baby gets the best start in life.

Click here to download.

Critical Reflections on the 2018 World Development Report

This post was prepared in response to the recent publication of the 2018 World Development Report, LEARNING to Realize Education’s Promise, by Hikaru Komatsu and Jeremy Rappleye of Kyoto University Graduate School of Education. Their recent publications on international learning assessments include “Did the Shift to Computer-Based Testing in PISA 2015 affect reading scores? A……

via Critical Reflections on the 2018 World Development Report: If Learning is so Important then Why Can’t the World Bank Learn? by Hikaru Komatsu and Jeremy Rappleye — NORRAG

At least we are now taking LEARNING more seriously, as an outcome of schooling for all…..

More Than One-Half of Children and Adolescents Are Not Learning Worldwide

Following the recent World Bank report describing how many children and young people in school are not learning another report comes to similar conclusions -education systems are failing too many young people. Quality of education must be the priority,not just access.

More Than One-Half of Children and Adolescents Are Not Learning Worldwide
UNESCO Institute for Statistics

More than 617 million children and adolescents are not achieving minimum proficiency levels (MPLs) in reading and mathematics, according to new estimates from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS).

This paper presents the first estimates for a key target of Sustainable Development Goal 4, which requires primary and secondary education that lead to relevant and effective learning outcomes. By developing a new methodology and database, the UIS has produced a global snapshot of the learning situation facing children and adolescents who are in school and out. The data show the critical need to improve the quality of education while expanding access to ensure that no one is left behind. The paper also discusses the importance of benchmarking and the concept of minimum proficiency levels.

Download this resource.

LEARNING to realize….

For the first time in forty years, the World Bank’s World Development Report (WDR), released on Tuesday, focuses exclusively on education. We are pleased to see its core messages resonating so well with our past reports, especially the 2013/4 EFA Global Monitoring Report on teaching and learning. The WDR is a welcome addition to the […]

via Learning to realize education’s promise – a look at the 2018 WDR — World Education Blog

Teachers in Timor-Leste

I have written about teachers and students in Timor Leste before, so was pleased to find the article below, in relation to World Teachers’ Day.
When I started working in Timor Leste- the schools were just burnt out shells and there were no trained teachers.
Many new teachers were growing rice one day and recruited as teachers the next.

Teachers in Timor-Leste – the Bridge to the Future

World Bank   SUBMITTED BY JOAO DOS SANTOS ON THU, 2012-10-04 12:54

My gratitude and appreciation to all the teachers around the world for the wonderful work they do in contributing to education and development, in particular teachers who serve in Timor-Leste.

Your worth has been recognized internationally since 1994 – today is your day, World Teachers’ Day on October 5th.

Recently while visiting a few schools in Aileu, Ainaro and Liquica, I spoke to teachers, students and parents in villages about the profound difference teachers were making.

Fatima Cardoso, a 28 year old mother with seven children, lives in the high mountains of Aitutu village, Ainaro District about 84 kilometers from the capital Dili. Five of her children are now studying at school, She explained:

“Teachers are just like a bridge to help students pass to their future. I really appreciate the role of teachers. They help guide our children in the right direction. As parents we want something different for our children, we want our children to have a better education.”

“We are lucky because the school is very close school with very dedicated teachers working there, some have to spend hours on foot to reach the school to teach the students.”

Teachers like these are the backbone of education in Timor-Leste and the significant gains achieved during the last decade. Now 90 percent of primary aged children are enrolled in school and more children are staying in school, with three quarters completing all primary grades in 2010. More Timorese are able to read and write, with literacy rates among 15-24 year olds increasing by 70 percent between 2001 and 2007.

Teachers are playing a vital role to respond to the needs of children, the hope of thousands of parents and the dreams of government for a better development, as it is constituted in the National Strategic Development Plan of the Government of Timor-Leste. All of us count teachers as one of the key actors for a nation’s development.

Roberto de Araujo, the School Coordinator of Querema Primary School at Hatubuilico, Ainaro District, started teaching in 1994, during the Indonesian occupation.

“Teaching for me is about transferring all the knowledge we have to students. Helping them discover their ability guides them with moral knowledge and encourages them to understand the importance of education for their future, so the success of the students depends on the success of the teachers.”

Antonio Ximenes Paixeco, 17 years old, is a former student of Querema School, and is now studying at senior high school. I met him on his way home from school and spent a few minutes talking to him, asking him a few questions about his former teacher Roberto.

“I still recall the good things I got from him, he is very committed and very patient. I like the way he teaches, he really understood the subject before presenting it in the class. He will go over things until each of us understands.”

Although the teachers have made progress there remain challenges, in both the quality of education and the school infrastructure.

The World Bank has been supporting the education and training sector in Timor-Leste since 2000, with support from AusAID and other partners through financial as well as technical assistance. In recent years, the support has focused on expanding access to primary and secondary education through improving school facilities and learning and teaching materials, and strengthening the quality of learning through teacher training and curriculum development.

Earlier this year, over 600 teachers graduated with a degree in basic education from the National Institute for the Training of Teachers and Education Professionals, part of a broad strategy to both expand access and quality of basic education. “The training was really important, it has helped us understand that the learning process in the classroom has completely changed. Before, teachers were at the center and were 80 percent more active than the students. Now it has changed. Students have become central and are about 80 percent more active than a teacher. This has increased the students’ participation in the class and they are more active in the group discussion”, said Geraldo Ribeiro Soares, Director of Ulmera Primary School, in Liquica District.

Boaventura Maria Soares is a young teacher at Ulmera Primary School, of Liquica District. He started teaching in 2008 and graduated from University in 2010. As a young teacher, he is very appreciative of the training programme for the teachers provided under the Ministry of Education.

“The training is very important, as we now understand that the world is changing, there are new things that we need to know, such as teaching-learning methodologies. This will help us to use more up to date teaching techniques used in other countries, linking to more effective learning processes and impacting on quality of education across the country”.

Education is one of the most important pillars to reach your goals and dreams. World Teachers’ Day represents a significant token of the awareness, understanding and appreciation displayed for the vital contribution that teachers make to education and development.

Global Monitoring Report 2010 – The MDGs After the Crisis

Well there are many excuses, from many corners of the world, why countries cannot prioritise and reach the many children who are not yet in school,let alone improve the quality of education when they get there. Arms sales still seem to rise but education budgets get hit because of the ‘economic crisis’.

Here is some more info on that topic:

Global Monitoring Report 2010 – The MDGs After the Crisis

The global economic crisis has slowed the pace of poverty reduction in developing countries, and is hampering progress toward the other Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), says a new report from the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund. The crisis is having an impact in several key areas of the MDGs, including those related to hunger, child and maternal health, gender equality, access to clean water, and disease control and will continue to affect development prospects well beyond 2015.  According to the report, despite the economic crisis, universal primary education is within reach and gender parity is close at the primary level.  However, beyond primary education, gender parity is weak.

To download the report click here.