Person:
Linden, Toby

Lead Economist, HSAED, The World Bank
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Secondary education, Tertiary education, Skills and workforce development, Roma, India, Southeast Europe, Central Europe
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Last updated: September 20, 2023
Biography
Toby Linden has had a long and diverse career working in countries across the globe with the World Bank, including in South Asia, Southeast and Central Europe, and Southern and Eastern Africa. His publications include Lifelong Learning in the Global Knowledge Economy: Challenges for Developing Countries, with Harry Patrinos, and Getting the Right Teachers into the Right Schools: Managing India’s Teacher Workforce, with Vimala Ramachandran and others. He also served as director of the Roma Education Fund, an international nongovernmental organization working to improve the educational outcomes of Roma (Gypsies), the poorest minority in Europe. Previously, he worked for the British Council and England’s national Department for Education.

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Fixing the Foundation: Teachers and Basic Education in East Asia and Pacific

2023-09-20, Afkar, Rythia, Béteille, Tara, Breeding, Mary E., Linden, Toby, Mason, Andrew D., Mattoo, Aaditya, Pfutze, Tobias, Sondergaard, Lars M., Yarrow, Noah

Countries in middle-income East Asia and the Pacific were already experiencing serious learning deficits prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-related school disruptions have only made things worse. Learning poverty -- defined as the percentage of 10-year-olds who cannot read and understand an age-appropriate text -- is as high as 90 percent in several countries. Several large Southeast Asian countries consistently perform well below expectations on adolescent learning assessments. This report examines key factors affecting student learning in the region, with emphasis on the central role of teachers and teaching quality. It also analyzes the role education technologies, which came into widespread use during the pandemic, and examines the political economy of education reform. The report presents recommendations on how countries can strengthen teaching to improve learning and, in doing so, can enhance productivity, growth, and future development in the region.