Business as usual is not working

The Global Learning Crisis is a scandalous and tragic waste of human potential and resources and we must find a way to fix it.

School children studying in the classroom

A way that is not just using ‘business as usual’ practices, such as research reports, teacher and headteacher training, curriculum development, parental and community engagement, school feeding, infrastructure and materials support, child friendly schools’ approaches, girls education focus, and so on. These ‘business as usual’ Education aid approaches, which although have had some success, have not led to national scale-ups or improved learning.

Based on current trends, it will take decades and in some places over 700 years, for children of poor families to catch up with the richest.

Winthrop and Barton, 2017; Brookings 2019

For example, it would take Colombia 700 years to reach OECD reading and Mathematics average, Tunisia 180 years to reach the OECD average for Mathematics and Brazil 260 years for reading, and these are countries where learning has improved. A recent study in Indonesia used household surveys to compare the ability of recent cohorts of youth aged 18 to 24 years old to do simple arithmetic between 2000 and 2014. They find that the percentage of youth who had completed senior secondary school increased by 20 percentage points — so a massive dose of “business as usual”. Data also shows that during this period, spending on education tripled. But the percentage of arithmetic questions that youth could answer increased only from 31.2 to 31.4 percent.

Power Teachers Africa will work with partners to find strategies that work to address this tragic crisis.