Published in El Pais, April 19th 2019.
A few days ago, the World Bank had a webinar about Education and its importance. In this presentation the phrase “Being in school is not the same as learning” was mentioned. I want to present the reasons from data poured in this presentation. Although the percentage of children and adolescents who attend schools is high (between 80% -95%), many do children not learn the foundations and basic skills of reading, writing or mathematics. In the world, 6 out of 10 children do not have these skills. Learning these skills in primary school serves for the rest of life and for the improvement of society. What is learned in primary school is being enhanced secondary school followed in university or technical institutes. Some statistics: in Mexico 10%, in Indonesia 50% and in Nigeria 90% of children of 10 years do not have the ability to read.
There is a lot of discussion about the investment priorities in education. A multidimensional need exists to improve education such as the skills and motivation of teachers, improvement of school infrastructure and their classrooms, improvement of education curricula, the use mobile and web-based technology to get the latest on education without barriers of distance and price.
It is also important that countries focus on the development of technical careers which are the most needed in the world. Motivate young people to understand that education serves and the knowledge they acquire will be useful for their work. Many who attend schools today think that what is learned will not be useful. However, many times this is because what is studied or read is not understood or not internalized. A priority in education should be to teach reading, strengthen reading comprehension and strengthen production such as stories, articles etc. from this reading to internalize the knowledge to be able to apply it in other aspects of life.
It is also important to copy and share the strategies that DO work to improve the quality of education and measure it continuously to see if what we do is good so that no country is left behind.