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CGD Policy Blogs

 

A school in Afghanistan. Photo by UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Keeping Afghan Children in School: Five Recommendations for the International Community

Calls have been made for the international community to protect and support education for Afghan children at home and abroad. Last week Gordon Brown urged the G7 to continue funding education for girls in Afghanistan, as long as the Taliban government allows girls to attend school. We agree, but with caveats. We urge the G7 and the broader international community to step up their own hosting of Afghan refugees, to ensure that education is included in humanitarian responses, and to embrace local solutions as they move to protect education for Afghan girls and boys.

A man on the phone wearing a mask

Tech Plus Teachers: One-on-one Phone Tutorials Didn’t Help Kids Learn During School Closures in Sierra Leone

When schools in Sierra Leone closed last March, the government was more ready than many to respond. We designed a randomised control trial which assigned 4,399 students from 25 government primary schools to receive—in addition to the standard access to the government’s broadcast that all students received—either reminders to tune in or reminders and weekly phone tutorials with teachers.

Figure showing men are more likely to say women shouldnt work outside the home than women are

Promoting Gender Equality in Pakistan Means Tackling Both Real and Misperceived Gender Norms

The education gaps that are closing between boys and girls in many countries persist in Pakistan. Our large new household survey on the factors associated with differences in gender norms sheds light on what policymakers can do in the post-COVID world to address the gender gap and improve opportunities for girls. Here are four things we learnt from the survey results.

Students in a classroom in Bangladesh. Photo by Dominic Chavez / World Bank

Fund Girls’ Education. Don’t Greenwash It.

You might think girls' education and climate change are quite different issues. But, with money for and political attention on climate change growing, savvy education donors and advocacy organisations are increasingly making links between the two. The UK’s FCDO, for instance, claims girls in poor countries are “among the greatest assets we have in responding to the climate crisis.” 

We argue this strategy is empirically and morally flawed. There is no need to greenwash education.

An image of school children learning on a tablet.

A Symposium on Girin Beeharry’s Manifesto for Global Education

Earlier this year, Girin Beeharry stepped down as the inaugural director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s global education program. But he’s not going quietly.  His recent essay, “The Pathway to Progress on SDG 4,” is essentially a manifesto for international actors in the education sector.  In it, Girin diagnoses deep failures in the sector he’s helped shape in recent years, and lays out his vision for what needs to change to get back on track toward the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal of quality education for all (SDG4).

Time-series chart showing that the first round of survey collection happened during the first COVID peak in Pakistan, and the third round of data collection happened before the second, current peak.

New Data on Learning Loss in Pakistan

To get a better picture of the effects of the pandemic on education in Pakistan, we carried out another round of our survey of students and parents. We found gender differences in learning loss, little engagement with government teleschool, dropping parental support for further closures, and more.

A country map of global lawfulness of corporal punishment in schools.

Violence in Schools Is Pervasive and Teachers Are Often the Perpetrators. Here Are Five Ways to Prevent It.

We examine the problem of teacher violence, drawing on studies from low- and middle-income countries. Teacher-perpetrated violence is widespread and unacceptable and the education sector must do more to eliminate it from schools. We offer five strategies that we hope will be helpful for policymakers, practitioners, planning interventions, and donors funding interventions.

 Figure. Potential pathways from foundational literacy and numeracy to life outcomes

Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Skills Are Important, Obviously. But Are They More Important than All Other Education Investments?

It’s rare to read an education report these days that doesn’t mention the learning crisis. That’s not surprising. Literacy and numeracy skills among children are dismally low: less than half of all children in low- and middle-income countries can read by the time they are 10 years old. As these data have emerged in recent years, the global education community has swung its focus sharply toward learning.

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