Cost-effective approaches to improve global learning: what does recent evidence tell us are “Smart Buys” for improving learning in low and middle income countries?

Organisation(s): World Bank

Date: 2020

Pages: 40 p.


The Global Education Evidence Advisory Panel is an independent, cross-disciplinary body composed of leading education experts from around the world. Its mandate is to provide succinct, usable, and policy-focused recommendations to support policymakers’ decision-making on education investments in low- and middle-income countries. This is the first major set of recommendations from the Evidence Panel and focuses on cost-effective practices in education, based on its review of high-quality evidence. To improve learning, build back better from coronavirus and deliver value for money, the report identifies “best buys” including:

-tailoring teaching based on ability and learning level, rather than age or grade, and providing extra catch-up support to help children falling behind;

-increasing investments in pre-primary education, to halt the learning disparity seen by age 5 between low and higher-income households;

-developing structured lesson plans with teacher mentoring and training;

-providing merit-based scholarships to disadvantaged children to help them stay in school;

-informing parents about the benefits of sending their children to school and the choices available to them; and

-working to reduce travel times to schools

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