Addressing the learning crisis:
an urgent need to better finance education for the poorest children
Although more children than ever before are enrolled in school, for too many, schooling does not equal learning. In 2016, over 600 million children and adolescents were estimated to be not reaching minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics. To highlight the global learning crisis, the World Bank has introduced the concept of ‘Learning Poverty’ – the inability to read and understand a simple text by age 10. The concept draws on new data developed in coordination with the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). An estimated 53 per cent of children in low- and middle-income countries cannot read proficiently by age 10.