Ideas to Action:

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The heart of Girin Beeharry’s manifesto is that we must reorient global aid for education around promoting foundational literacy and numeracy, unflinchingly monitor progress on that core goal, and hold all development institutions accountable for measurable results in this domain. In this collection, sector leaders, researchers, and practitioners provide their reflections and counter proposals to Girin’s essay.

Peeling led paint on the side of a house

Biden Wants to Eliminate Lead Poisoning in American Children. We Propose an Even More Ambitious Goal: Global Eradication.

We applaud the Biden Administration's effort to address lead poisoning in the US. But we suggest Biden adopt an even more ambitious goal: not just national elimination, but global eradication of lead poisoning, especially in children. A global eradication campaign—modelled loosely on prior and ongoing global efforts to eradicate smallpox, polio, and guinea worm, mixed with inspiration from the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control—would offer a tremendous contribution to global welfare, economic growth, and even world peace. An American-led effort to eliminate lead poisoning globally could be an international moonshot elevating the Biden administration’s international statue and legacy.

An empty classroom in Sikkim, India

US Congress Raises Alarm on Global Learning Loss and Inequality

The House Foreign Affairs Committee recently advanced the Global Learning Loss Assessment Act. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation shines a light on the critical issue of learning loss—and the impacts of disrupted education more broadly—as schools around the world closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s a quick overview of the evidence to date—and why it’s important that lawmakers (and USAID) are casting a watchful eye on global learning and inequality.

Chart showing that Third Space Learning, which uses Sri Lankan tutors, is significantly cheaper than all other providers, which use UK-based tutors

Offshoring Education is Good for the Poor

Two positive development stories emerged from the UK education sector last week: A new tutoring scheme is hiring Sri Lankan tutors for British children. And the UK Department for Education is proposing a new international teaching qualification, which could make international recruitment easier.

Graphic laying out four principles for the use of edtech to help teachers

How to Use Technology to Help Teachers be Better and to Make Life Better for Teachers

In a recent note I look for examples of how education technology—rather than seeking to circumvent teachers—can help teachers to be as effective as possible and make their jobs and lives easier in the process. Looking at a wide range of experiences, mostly in low- and middle-income countries, I identify and discuss four principles to guide investments in technology to boost teacher effectiveness.

Publication

Education systems around the world are investing in technology to help teachers be more effective. In some cases, the results are exciting. In others, the impact of technology falls short of expectations or remains unevaluated. This note lays out four principles for investing in technology for effective teachers and six aspects of teaching where technology can boost teacher performance, together with examples of tested, promising, and cautionary experiences with teacher technologies.

A map showing the students who have received the most education in the last year (darker colors represent more education)

It’s Been a Year Since Schools Started to Close Due to COVID-19

Twelve months ago, the world was watching as schools closed across China and millions of students began learning online from their homes. Most of us didn’t think for a moment that just a few weeks later, almost every country in the world would close their schools and the education of more than a billion children would be disrupted. Since then, millions of students have not had any school-based, face-to-face education.

Publication

GPE’s unique selling point is its single-minded focus on basic education, and its fairly streamlined, no-strings-attached approach to funding poor countries’ own education plans. But is GPE the best channel for education aid?

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