Inaugural World Bank education report recognises success of Liberian PPP
The World Bank has released its first ever report on education. It recognizes the global learning crisis and the failure of governments towards the hundreds of millions of children who are not in school or in school not learning.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said
“This learning crisis is a moral and economic crisis. To realize education’s promise, we need to prioritize learning, not just schooling.”
The report, LEARNING to Realize Education’s Promise, calls on developing countries to implement better learning assessments and use an evidence based approach to deciding which education interventions work.
The report names Partnership Schools for Liberia (PSL) as a global example of positive policy action. Commenting on the Liberian education initiative, which Bridge Liberia is a partner in delivering, the report says “early grade reading improved substantially within a very short time thanks to focused efforts based on evidence.”
The report notes that ‘when countries and their leaders make “learning for all” a national priority, education standards can improve dramatically.’
Following the publication of the Liberian RCT report which showed that the Public Private Partnership had delivered a 60% learning increase in public schools, other African countries including Kenya and Uganda have been asking whether there are any lessons that can be learnt.
In response to the new World Bank report, Bridge Liberia ’s Chief Academic Officer Sean Geraghty said, “We welcome this overview of the global education crisis and the very practical policy advice the authors put forward. Bridge Liberia completely agrees that the new education intervention in Liberia is an example for other governments who wish to effectively invest in their children’s future. In only one year, students in the intervention in Liberia learned 60% more than they would have in standard public schools. This is significant, meaningful progress by any measure, and as the World Bank report states: Other countries do not have to wait. Real change is possible and affordable now.”
Sean Geraghty goes on to say, “The global education crisis is the driver behind so many of the world’s major challenges: cycles of generational poverty, poor health, infant mortality, low wages, low economic growth. So, it’s not an exaggeration to say that fixing the global learning problem is a global priority, recognised by the UN, World Bank, and leaders worldwide.
“At Bridge Liberia , we have pioneered a new way of helping governments to quickly improve their education quality and capacity. It’s a model that is evidence based, long term self-sustainable, and scalable. I’m glad this new report has put a spotlight on the work of the Liberian Ministry of Education, who we proudly partner with.”
Jaime Saavedra, the World Bank’s Senior Director for Education said,
“Education reform is urgently needed and requires persistence as well as the political alignment of government, media, entrepreneurs, teachers, parents, and students. They all have to value and demand better learning.”