The world is in the midst of a technological revolution. Students are not being adequately prepared to thrive in this rapidly changing world. Education systems, especially in low- and- middle-income countries, face many daunting challenges. 53 percent of 10-year old children in low- and middle-income countries cannot read and understand a short paragraph, a figure that rises to over 80 percent in the poorest countries. 258 million students are out of school, including 59 million children of primary-school age. The situation is even worse in communities afflicted by conflict and violence. Girls and children with special educational needs are particularly being left behind. This learning crisis has been exacerbated by the health and economic crisis of COVID-19 (coronavirus) (in the most pessimistic scenario, COVID-19- related school closures could increase the rate of 10-year old children who cannot read and understand a short paragraph in the low- and middle-income countries by 10 percentage points, from 53 percent to 63 percent).
Education technology — or ‘EdTech’, the use of hardware, software, digital content, data, and information systems in education — supports and enriches teaching and learning and improves education management and delivery. EdTech can create new connections between teachers, students, parents, and broader communities to create learning networks. Investments in EdTech can make education systems more resilient to future shocks and help reform and reimagine the way education is delivered. The World Bank supports the appropriate, cost-effective use of EdTech at all levels of education and supports countries in expanding access and improving quality, both inside and out of the classroom – so that education reaches all students. In pursuit of this goal, the World Bank works to discover evidence-based technology solutions in education; deploy solutions, at the pilot level and at scale; and diffuse this knowledge widely across policy makers and support capacity development to better use this new knowledge.
The Flexible Learning Strategies for Out of School Children programme is a UNESCO initiative with the aim of supporting inclusive and quality education for every child in the region. Our goal is to reach the remaining and most vulnerable 5% of children with no access to education in the region and support quality improvements in learning for every child.
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