Amid UNESCO’s jaw-dropping report on the immense challenge to education around the world is an important fact: Some 37 countries are losing half of the money they invest in primary education because students are not learning.
Even when children go to school, they are not learning. That is in part reflected in the statistic that an estimated 175 million young people cannot read a full sentence.
This problem is reflected in the language of the report and its accompanying release. The problem is learning, not education. Despite that knowledge, there is still attention on the basic goals of teachers and schools.
“We need 5.1 million teachers to be recruited by 2015, and we need to work harder to support them in providing children with their right to a universal, free and quality education,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.
It is held that education is an important step of development. However, the evidence that spending money on education will not lead to job growth. Economist Francis Teal determined that more graduates is well and good, but they have nowhere to go if there are no jobs. Some may argue that better education can lead to the creation of working opportunities, but it appears to be that it is more about investing in connections to global markets.
Whether or not education can lead to income growth, the issue does not matter if students are not learning while they are in the classroom. Continue reading