Despite improved access at all levels of education and impressive investments in education and training, a major challenge in the Middle East and African countries is poor learning. The ability to read with comprehension for all children in late primary school—generally by age 10—is a goal of every education system around the world.The ability to read is a gateway to further learning and skills development, enabling young people to participate effectively in society.
But children are not learning. To galvanize action towards tackling the global learning crisis, the World Bank announced a new “Learning Poverty” indicator, defined as the share of children who cannot read and understand a simple story by age 10. A new global target was announced as well, to reduce that number by at least half before 2030. The Bank estimates that 53% of all children in low- and middle-income countries are “learning poor”.
Under the auspices of the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and to underscore the urgency of improving learning outcomes, the World Bank and Egypt’s Minister of Education and Technical Education (MOETE) are organizing the “High-Level Conference on Accelerating Learning in the Middle East and Africa” on February 13-14, 2020 in collaboration with the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
The conference will bring together Ministers of Education, policymakers, sector experts, civil society, and development partners from across MENA and Africa.
The conference aims at sharing regional and international experiences of education reform and transformative strategies for making faster progress towards improving learning for all, while promoting collaboration among the countries of Africa and the Middle East to work towards making faster progress in improving learning outcomes.