Education Notes

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Education Notes is a series produced by the World Bank to share lessons learned from innovative approaches to improving education practice and policy around the globe. Background work for this piece was done in partnership, with support from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 12
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    Towards an Operationalization of Resilience in Education Systems: Identifying, Protecting and Using Assets in Education Communities
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-05) Reyes, Joel
    This Education Note presents the findings from the first four Education Resilience Approaches (ERA) pilots from the countries of Rwanda, South Sudan, Honduras, and the UNRWA system in West Bank, Gaza, and Jordan. The findings illustrate the facets of education resilience and how it can be fostered. Education resilience involves identifying risks and assets, protecting the assets in schools and communities, and aligning education system commitment to a resilience approach. Resilience matters in education because learning and school success are not only possible in spite of adversity, but also education can be the vehicle to overcome it.
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    Learning from the Best : Improving Learning Through Effective Teacher Policies
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-02) Vegas, Emiliana ; Ganimian, Alejandro ; Jaimovich, Analia
    An education system is only as good as its teachers. Both developed and developing countries have increasingly become concerned with increasing the effectiveness of their teachers. Successful education systems achieve the eight SABER-Teacher teacher policy goals in different ways, but they all produce superior student and teacher performance. The World Bank has studied top-performing systems. These systems are particularly effective at attracting the best individuals to the teaching profession and preparing them exceptionally. Once teachers enter the profession, the system grants them ample discretion to decide how to best achieve superior student performance and focuses on supporting them rather than trying to steer them in any particular direction. Finland provides a good example of this type of system. These systems also place considerable trust in teachers. Such systems are built on the notion that excellent teaching is not the responsibility of a single instructor, but rather, of the profession as a whole. Thus, they institute mechanisms that foster collaboration and encourage teachers to hold their peers accountable for the quality of their work. Shanghai, China, offers a good example of this type of system. These systems exert tight control over teachers' daily work in the classroom. They provide teachers with detailed guidelines, closely monitor the execution of these guidelines, and use multiple incentives to reward outstanding teaching. At the same time, accountability mechanisms tackle poor teacher effort and performance.
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    EFA and Beyond : Service Provision and Quality Assurance in China
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2005-07) Wang, Yidan
    China is not often thought of in the Education-for-all (EFA) context but its education sector over the past 20 years provides many lessons for countries that are approaching Universal Primary Education (UPE). The most important lesson may be that the need for educational reform does not diminish as countries approach UPE. The first challenge is to expand education opportunities. As coverage expands, however, new challenges inevitably emerge that require constant attention and frequent updates to education policy and financing mechanisms.
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    In Their Own Language : Education for All
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2005-06) Bender, Penelope ; Dutcher, Nadine ; Klaus, David ; Shore, Jane ; Tesar, Charlie
    Fifty percent of the world's out-of-school children live in communities where the language of schooling is rarely, if ever, used at home. This paper discusses the benefits of use of first language instruction. The results of benefits from first language instruction discussed are: increased access and equity; improved learning outcomes; reduced repetition and dropout rates; socio-cultural benefits and lower overall costs. The paper outlines why many countries have been reluctant to deliver basic education in local languages. It also gives lessons learned on: policy formulation around language of instruction issues; bilingual programs; and management of the policy environment of language reforms.
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    Decentralizing Education in Guatemala : School Management by Local Communities
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2005-02) Rojas, Carlos ; Valerio, Alexandria ; Demas, Angela
    Guatemala set out in 1992 to increase access to education in remote areas. Its National Community-managed Program for Educational Development (PRONADE) has evolved from a small, innovative pilot program in 19 rural communities, to a nationwide program reaching over 4,100 communities and 445,000 children. PRONADE is one of the most proactive managerial, administrative, and financial decentralization measures taken in Latin America. Isolated rural communities have been truly empowered to administer and manage the schools. Following are some remaining challenges to be resolved for PRONADE continued success : quality issues and students learning outcomes must be dealt more systematically; PRONADE teachers have not received consistent training in multi-grade and bilingual classroom practices; impact evaluation are needed to determine how PRONADE is affecting student achievement, repetition, and drop-out rates, as well as teacher effectiveness; finally, there have been frequent delays in payment of teacher salaries, as well as transfer of funds for school snacks, educational and teaching materials.
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    Education for All : Including Children with Disabilities
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2003-08) Peters, Susan
    An estimated 40 million of the 115 million children out of school have disabilities. The vast majority of these children have moderate impairments that are often not visible or easily diagnosed. Disabled children include those with learning difficulties, speech difficulties, physical, cognitive, sensory and emotional difficulties. Children with disabilities are likely to have never attended school. A 1991 report by the UN Rapporteur on Human Rights and Disabilities found that at least one in ten persons in the majority of countries has a physical, cognitive, or sensory (deaf/blind) impairment. Fewer than 5 percent are believed to reach the "Education For All" goal of primary school completion. This number may be growing due to global conditions of increasing poverty, armed conflict, child labor practices, violence and abuse, and HIV/AIDS. Because these children are part of a family unit, it is estimated that at least 25 percent of the world population is directly affected by the presence of disability.
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    Education for All : Building the Schools
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2003-08) Theunynck, Serge
    Putting all children worldwide in school by 2015 will constitute, collectively, the biggest building project the world has ever seen. Some 10 million new classrooms will be spread over 100 countries. At current costs of about $7000 per classroom in Africa, $8000 per classroom in Latin America, and $4000 per classroom in Asia, the total price tag for construction will come to about $72 billion dollars through 2015, or about $6 billion annually. In the 1960s, most World Bank education projects focused on construction and were managed by architects. Over time, this "hardware" approach evolved into a "software" approach, with a much greater focus on teaching and learning issues. Most projects are now managed by education specialists, but construction still represents the single largest share of World Bank lending to education (45 percent of education lending).
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    Bringing the School to the Children : Shortening the Path to EFA
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2003-08) Lehman, Douglas
    Recent education planning initiatives in West and Central Africa show that the path to EFA may be shortened considerably by reconsidering the way basic education is delivered in isolated rural communities. Since independence, education systems have been expanding rapidly and are now serving most of the easy-to-reach population. For progress to continue, the focus must be shifted toward the sparsely populated areas, which means adjusting the type of schools used, and building them close to where children live. Most out-of-school children live in rural areas. Unfortunately, few rural schools offer the complete primary cycle. A number of factors contribute to the incomplete-cycle phenomenon. The most significant is that the potential student population is insufficient for a three- or six-teacher school. Having children walk to school from neighboring villages also contributes to low enrollment and low student-teacher ratios. Since teachers generally do not teach more than 1 or 2 grades at a time in a classroom, rural communities usually have low student-teacher ratios, and education system administrators cannot justify sending additional teachers to the school. In addition, schools with incomplete cycles tend to have extremely low survival rates.
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    EFA in Indonesia : Hard Lessons About Quality
    (Washington, DC, 2003-05) World Bank
    Indonesia has seen vast improvements in access to education over the past thirty years. It is a good example of a country that has followed a disciplined linear approach to EFA: Indonesia focused first on primary school access, next on lower secondary school access, and is only now attempting to address key policy issues to improve learning outcomes. However, many long-established precedents that have a negative impact on quality are proving very hard to change. Indonesia's struggles to improve quality demonstrate the importance of tackling such issues from the very beginning, as initial efforts are put in place to expand access. The Indonesia school system is characterized by startling contradictions. It has seen great gains in primary and lower secondary enrollment as a result of strong political will, but educational quality remains very low. The school year in Grades 3-6 is among the longest in the world (over 1400 hours annually for single shift classrooms), but the potential impact of this extraordinary effort is lost in part because the school year in Grades 1 and 2 is among the shortest in the world (under 500 hours annually in most cases).
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    Big Steps in a Big Country : Brazil Makes Fast Progress Toward EFA
    (Washington, DC, 2003-05) World Bank
    By the year 2000, Brazil had almost achieved universal primary enrollment for Grades 1-4, and more than 50 million Brazilians were enrolled in the country's education system. From 1970 to 2000, 32 million additional students entered school, two-thirds of them during the last two decades. Over a five-year period (1996-2000), while primary schooling continued to make important gains, enrollments in secondary and tertiary education in Brazil grew at the astonishing rate of 43% and 44% respectively. Many developing countries face problems with age-grade distortion. Largely because of high repetition rates, age-grade distortion in Brazil is about 10 percent country-wide, and almost 40 percent in the northeastern part of the country. An innovative program called Accelerated Learning has been implemented to address this issue. Under this program, the federal government finances the creation of special classes for over-aged students with the objective of reducing the age-grade distortion and freeing up space in public schools. By year 2000 there were already 1.2 million students enrolled in accelerated learning programs in all Brazilian states.