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Stumbling at the First Step: A Triple Crisis at the Foundations of Education Systems
May 11, 2016Washington DC

This event is part of the Early Learning Partnership Virtual Discussion Series.

This event highlights the importance of addressing the "Foundational First Fives" in improving students' learning outcomes. The presentation will argue that it will be hard to improve learning outcomes and increase primary school completion rates in a selected group of some 40 countries unless the "Foundational First Five" are addressed. There are three key problems or elements of the crisis: a) a bulging of enrollment in the first few grades that constitutes mostly of hidden repetition, b) a lack of learning of the most fundamental skills in the first few grades, and c) a lack of ECD. These issues are correlated and mutually cause each other in complex but powerful ways. The presentation will also argue that these problems are a good predictor of low completion rates, and waste a lot of money. Quantitative estimates of the predictive ability of these factors, upon the completion rate, will be provided, along with some estimates of the cost wastage created by the syndrome.

  • Luis Crouch

    Sr Economist and Chief Technical Officer, RTI International Development Group
    Luis Crouch specializes in education policy, decentralized finance (e.g., funding formulas) and decentralization, political economy of reform, education statistics, planning, and projections. He has experience in all key areas of policy analysis, from the generation of primary data, to statistical and econometric analysis, to Cabinet-level policy dialogue. He has previously worked at the World Bank and at the Global Partnership for Education, where he had lead positions. He has worked closely on South Africa's education sector funding reforms and more recently Egypt's decentralization experiments, as well as decentralization and other policy reforms in Peru and Indonesia. In the last few years he has become interested in early grade reading and targeted Early Childhood Development, as the key entry-points to improve education systems’ response to the quality imperative. He was one of the lead proponents of this key approach now used by important development agencies and quite a few countries. He has authored many report and technical paper on this topic.
Event Information
  • Location: World Bank J10-160: 701 18th St NW Washington DC
  • Time: 9:00-10:00am EST
  • Audio Connection: Toll: 1-650-479-3207 Access code: 735695737
  • Video Conference Password: a6teJtDJ
  • Video Conference Meeting Number: 735695737


Early Learning Partnership

The Early Learning Partnership is a multi-donor trust fund managed by the World Bank. The Partnership works with countries to promote early learning through research, policy planning, project design and finance.