Sunday, September 24, 2023

We need to test whether our millions in education aid is actually working

Atishi Marlena, a prominent Indian education reformer, has boiled down the essentials for a good public school system to three imperatives: provide quality school infrastructure; ensure a system to identify and hire motivated teachers; and focus on objectively measured learning outcomes and minimum levels of learning for all children. “Perhaps the key determinant of improving the persistently low quality of education in … government schools,” she concludes, “is political will.” Until political elites decide education outcomes matter, South Asia’s next generation — both boys and girls — will remain poor relative to East and Southeast Asia.

If Canada wants its $400 million of education aid to be effective, it should be insisting on independent assessment of what children actually learn in aid-supported projects.

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