Tuesday June 25, 2019

World Bank urges for more funds to be invested into Primary School Education with focus on Reading Skills

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Students in a primary School., Pixabay

Dubai, March 18, 2017: Manager Education Sector at the World Bank group Harry Patrinos said on Saturday that globally more money has to be invested into primary school education with a focus on reading skills.

Patrinos, at the Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) here, said that the “government and education donors spend rising amounts of money into higher education, while investments into basic education remains stagnant, especially in the developing world,” Xinhua news agency reported.

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However, he added “a study conducted by the World Bank found out that it costs just 10 dollars per pupil per year to equip teachers in Malawi with tools to ensure no child is left behind in relation to achieve basic reading skills.”

The World Bank said Patrinos has therefore launched reading programmes in several developing countries.

The expert added that an estimated 25 percent of children in developing countries cannot read and write, while 50 per cent of all kids in middle-income countries are “technically illiterate”, meaning they are unable to understand or interpret small text.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, “we found out that 61 million people cannot read”, said Patrinos.

“The investments into reading skills shall not be regarded as losses, since the economic loss of creating generations of illiterate people goes into the trillions of dollars globally,” he added. (IANS)

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World Bank: Russia Banking Sector Remains at Risk Despite Recent State Costly Bailouts

"The banking sector remains afflicted with high concentration and state dominance," the World Bank said in the report

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world bank, russia banking sector
A Russian flag flies over the headquarters of the country's central bank in Moscow (file photo) RFERL

The World Bank says Russia’s banking sector is stabilizing but remains at risk despite recent state bailouts of Russian banks totaling tens of billions of dollars.

In a scheduled report dated June 10, the Washington-based lender estimated that state-owned banks now account for 62 percent of all assets at Russian banks following the closure of hundreds of lenders in recent years and the rescue of several major financial institutions.

“The banking sector remains afflicted with high concentration and state dominance,” the World Bank said in the report. The warning comes less than a week after the World Bank, the lending arm of the International Monetary Fund, cut Russia’s 2019 economic growth forecast to 1.2 percent from a previous estimate of 1.5 percent because of oil production cuts.

world bank, russia banking sector
“The banking sector remains afflicted with high concentration and state dominance,” the World Bank said in the report. Pixabay

While the bank said Russia’s macroeconomic and fiscal buffers were strong, economic growth prospects remained modest. “Downside risks to Russia’s growth outlook stem from the potential expansion of sanctions, deterioration of financial market sentiment, souring global trade environment and a dramatic drop in oil prices,” the report said.

Russia’s business climate faces stiff headwinds for many reasons, including the economic sanctions imposed by the United States, Japan, and European allies for Moscow’s 2014 seizure of Crimea, along with alleged Russian interference in U.S. elections.

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The World Bank projected annual economic growth for the years 2020 and 2021 at 1.8 percent. “On the upside, national projects aimed at strengthening human capital and increasing productivity, if well-implemented, could positively affect Russia’s potential growth in the medium-term,” the bank said in its report.

Russia’s economy expanded 2.3 percent in 2018, aided in large part by one-off projects, buoyant energy prices, and an influx of tourists for the soccer World Cup. (RFERL)