The World Bank Group has announced its commitment to eradicate extreme poverty through the improvement of education worldwide. The World Bank Group pledged to invest $5 billion on results-based financing for education for the next five years. For the World Bank Group, education is the key to prosperity.
The announcement came a few days before the World Education Forum 2015 taking place in Incheon, Korea during which more than 160 country representatives will discuss the new education framework for 2015-2030. According to a press release by the World Bank Group, this new agenda is a post-2015 development plan following the Millennium Development Goals framework that reaches its target date this year.
“The truth is that most education systems are not serving the poorest children well. An estimated 250 million children cannot read or write—even though many have attended school for years. This is a tragedy and has serious consequences for ending extreme poverty,” Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group said in a statement.
Jim Yong Kim believes that results-based education offers a way out for impoverished children as it equips them with the resources to claim a better future:
“With nearly a billion people remaining trapped in extreme poverty today, sustained efforts to improve learning for children will unlock huge amounts of human potential for years to come. Better results in classrooms will help end extreme poverty.”
Financing by the World Bank Group will be directly linked with pre-agreed results. This is meant to ensure accountability for everyone involved and better measurability of each plan’s effectiveness.
By doubling its results-based financing for education, the World Bank Group will now have 40% of its financing portfolio fall under this category. According to Devex.com, it hasn’t been decided yet what results are to be set and how these will be met.
For the last fifteen years, the Millennium Development Goals framework has been criticized for focusing too much on how many students would get into schools, neglecting the actual content and quality of the education provided. The post-2015 agenda with its results-based financing prioritizes the offering of quality education.
One of the proposed ways to offer higher quality education is to make Math and Science a focal point. Despite continued efforts and project implementations, 121 million children are still excluded from primary and lower secondary education worldwide.
According to the World Bank, the education agenda for the next fifteen years:
“… is not only to get all the remaining children in school but also make sure they are learning the literacy, math, and non-cognitive skills they need to escape extreme poverty, share in the benefits of economic growth, and drive innovation and job creation.”
One of the Sustainable Development Goals is to have every girl and boy complete free, equitable and quality education by 2030. The World Bank has previously and successfully implemented results-based financing in the health sector. The World Bank Group president hopes to be able to repeat that success story in education as well.