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Maryam Akmal was a senior policy analyst with the global education team at the Center for Global Development. Her work focuses on the use of data and evidence to inform education policy. She has a particular interest in early grade learning and educational inequity. In a previous role, she did research and policy analysis for the RISE (Research on Improving Systems of Education) program. Prior to CGD, she worked with the Society for Advancement of Education in Pakistan on local education policy issues. Akmal holds a Master in Public Policy from Georgetown University and a BA in Economics from Oberlin College.
Contrary to popular opinion, there is little reliable evidence showing strong links between student achievement and teachers’ formal qualifications. On the other hand, numerous studies document the relationship between teachers’ classroom performance and student learning outcomes. Getting high-level and consistent performance from teachers in the classroom is central to improving delivery of education services. Yet the performance and effectiveness of teachers varies widely across and within education systems—and even within schools.
Could absenteeism be caused by the poor learning taking place in classrooms? After all, with years of schooling without gains in basic foundational skills in reading and math, it is hardly surprising when children struggle to perform. But what would happen if children were taught by their actual learning levels rather than their grade?
Does broadening financial access to large segments of the population pose risks to financial stability? Not necessarily, according to recent remarks by IMF managing director Christine Lagarde. Increasing access to basic financial transactions such as payments does not threaten financial stability, especially when appropriate supervisory and regulatory frameworks are in place. In fact, with the right regulatory supervision, increased access to financial services can result in both micro and macro benefits. Recognizing the macroeconomic and regulatory dimensions of financial inclusion, CGD and the IMF joined forces for a seminar to kick off the IMF Spring Meetings 2016.
Poor regulation is a key obstacle to financial inclusion. An enabling regulatory environment is critical for creating incentives for businesses to offer innovative financial services to the poor, and for underserved customers to take up formal financial services.
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 CGD.
Even if the education gap between rich and poor kids in the developing world was completely closed, many students still would not be proficient in basic math and reading, according to a new study from the Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) Programme.