Education International assesses World Bank's Development Report on education

published 17 April 2018 updated 18 April 2018

Just ahead of the World Bank Spring Meetings, Education International is launching a publication that brings together multiple voices from around the world to provide a Reality Check on the World Bank’s 2018 World Development Report on education.

This publication launch marks the end of EI’s World Development Report (WDR) Reality Check weekly blog series that has been running on www.worldsofeducation.org for nearly 6 months.

While it is important that the World Bank has dedicated an issue of the WDR to education for the very first time, the world's teachers and academics have found some significant shortcomings in its content. This is all the more difficult as World Bank policy directly affects educators through policy advice to ministers and imposed policy through conditional World Bank loans.

There is a quite substantial missed opportunity in the report: The Bank should have made a strong case for how to close the financing gap in education to meet SDG4. According to the Global Education Monitoring Report, there is a financing gap of $39 billion a year from now until 2030 across lower and middle income countries. This gap is not addressed at all in the report.

To summarize, the Bank should have emphasized that policy priorities should be determined by national governments in consultation with teachers and education support personnel who know firsthand the needs on the ground to achieve quality education for all.

EI General Secretary David Edwards says in his introduction to the publication: "It is educators who can best use assessment formatively to improve learning. It is educators who can provide the context-specific evidence, that should inform policy reform, of what works and what does not work in the classroom setting. And it is, thus, educators who must have a place at the table to guide policy reform. Education’s promise will not be achieved unless social dialogue is strengthened and expanded. For this reason, Education International asks that on matters of education, the World Bank tries something new, takes a step back, and listens to the education community."

"Education International's Reality Check: The Bank's 2018 World Development Report on Education" is available here: http://go.ei-ie.org/WDR2018RealityCheck