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Feb01

Going to School Is Not the Same as Learning

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The latest article from the World Bank about education in the world makes it very clear what still needs to be done about the disparity of academic performance between and within countries.

It is a devastating diagnosis, to the point of calling it a ”global learning crisis.” The world in this state is a place where South Korea keeps it’s after-school learning centers open until 11 pm, while millions of children in sub-Saharan Africa are going to school but learning very little.

That is just what the experts report highlights, that sitting in a classroom is not the same as learning, especially in countries that have a high rate of teacher absence. This underlines the social injustice involved in the learning crisis which, as we have read on occasion, also affects schools with a high enrollment rate of marginalized groups in the wealthier parts of the world. Education has failed the ones who need it the most, those that don’t have parents to read them bedtime stories and instead have become cultural agendas, those that cannot explain mathematical concepts to their children or buy them the books they want. To them, they trust in schools and education because they see it as an escape from a precarious situation.

Furthermore, there are 260 million children in the world who are still not enrolled in primary school for a variety of reasons, including conflicts and disabilities. Of course, this is much less than decades ago, but it means that as we talk about the significance of Artificial Intelligence, there are many children still at risk of not being able to read, write, or solve basic math problems – just to add a bit of perspective to our problems.

The first recommendation given by the report is to evaluate education systems to see where they are failing, where they can improve, and to better establish priorities through ”technical and political” motives. It is necessary to have enough political courage to take the colors out of the education system in order for it to move forward.

In many of these countries, the report states that only 1 in 3 children finish secondary school and speaking of attending a university continues to feel like a dream, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. In these countries, less than 25% of children who finish primary school have a good foundation in mathematics and literacy, and within the poorest countries, there are vast differences between the rich and the poor.

The report states, referencing what happened in Chile, that the first thing we must do is to be sure that children are healthy and that their basic needs are being met. It is disheartening to know, that based on this data, in the poorest countries, one in three children will suffer from stunted growth due to chronic malnutrition.

It is also key to offer support and reinforcement classes when they detect that there are children who would benefit from them. This is one of the key factors in the Finnish education system which has been hard to copy in many other countries. In fact, that is one of the reasons that encouraged us to start Smartick, so that parents could have an immediate resource in hand to reinforce mathematics, and at a more competitive price than private tutoring. So when the time comes that your child needs help with mathematics, you have us in hand.

The report talks about how Chile and Peru have become examples of countries that have put education at the center of the political agenda and it shows. We have to say, with satisfaction, that we also have more and more families from those countries choosing Smartick as the best mathematics reinforcement for their children.

Meanwhile, in Africa, the international agency is supporting a revolutionary initiative in Liberia which we will write about at another time: to entrust private chains with the task of providing high-quality education at a low cost. Their problems. Our problems. The world’s.

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Berta de Vega

Journalist. Smartick blogger. In the last four years, avid reader of everything related to education. Mother of three Smartick children.
Berta de Vega

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