The World Bank’s Ways toward Improving Education, and What Can Business Do?
Education significantly influences the overall well-being of a person. Research from UNESCO's Global Education Monitoring Report concludes that good quality education is the foundation of health and well-being. On top of that, the World Bank report shows that GREAT teachers also substantially impact students' well-being throughout their lives, affecting not only their academic achievement but also other long-term social and labor outcomes.
NOT EVERYONE HAS ACCESS TO QUALITY TEACHERS
There are nearly 85 million teachers worldwide: 9.4 million in pre-primary education, 30.3 million in primary, 18.1 in lower secondary, 14.0 in upper secondary, and 12.5 in higher education. However, a large share of children still needs access to high-quality teachers. A survey conducted in six Sub-Saharan African countries showed:
1. Less than 1 in 10 teachers exhibit good teaching practices, such as regularly checking for students' understanding and providing feedback.
2. 84% of grade 4 teachers need help understanding their teaching materials.
3. Some teachers do not prioritize teacher-student interaction and neglect its importance on students’ learning experiences.
THE PLAN TO IMPROVE TEACHER’S QUALITY
The World Bank recognizes that prepared, trained, motivated, and empowered teachers are critical to student learning and success. The World Bank’s Platform on Successful Teachers outlines five principles to support teachers holistically throughout the entirety of their careers: 1) Make Teaching Attractive; 2) Improve Pre-Service Education; 3) Improve Selection, Allocation, Monitoring, and Feedback; 4) Provide High-Quality Professional Development and School Leadership, and 5) Use Technology Wisely.
HELP FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR IS NEEDED
One of the initiatives is the Coach program which focuses on helping countries improve in-service teacher development programs. The program leads to improvements in teaching practice, and ultimately, improved student learning. The program calls for increased education funding from local governments, along with close cooperation with the private sector. Illustratively, while the government increases investment in teaching infrastructure (such as building new schools and advancing teacher’s salary), it could partner with businesses in the field of education technology, such as online learning platform, classroom technology company, or learning management software developer. With these, education issues can be tackled and solved one by one with area knowledge and policy measures from the government and technological know-hows from the corporate side.
Education lays the groundwork for the future of humanity. As such, by nurturing education, every party involved contributes directly to the betterment of the world. Good education means higher quality people, and higher quality people make GREATer workforce while spurring the economy forward.
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