World development Report 2018-‘Learning to Realise Education’s Promise’


  • The World Development Report 2018 focuses for the first time on education.
  • The report brought forward the fact that how intense deprivation can hinder the brain development of young children.
  • The World Bank in the latest report on  noted that millions of young students in these countries face the prospect of lost opportunity and lower wages in later life because their primary and secondary schools are failing to educate them to succeed in life.

What is World Bank?

  • The World Bank was established in 1944, is headquartered in Washington D.C.
  • The World Bank is a provider of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the globe.
  • The bank considers itself a unique financial institution that provides partnerships to reduce poverty and support economic development by giving loans and offering advice and training to both the private and public sectors.

Aims and objectives:

  • The World Bank has two stated goals that it aims to achieve by 2030.
  • The first is to end extreme poverty by decreasing the amount of people living on less than $1.90 a day to below 3% of the world population.
  • The second is to increase overall prosperity by increasing the income growth in the bottom 40% of the world’s population.
  • Beyond its specific goals, the World Bank provides qualifying individuals and governments with low-interest loans, zero-interest credits and grants.
  • These debt borrowings and cash infusions help with global education, health care, public administration, infrastructure and private sector development.
  • The World Bank also shares information with world governments through policy advice, research and analysis and technical assistance.

What is the World Development Report 2018?

  • The World Development Report 2018 (WDR 2018) ushers in with the tagline “LEARNING to Realize Education’s Promise”
  • It is the first ever report devoted entirely to education.

Objective of the report:

The 2018 WDR explores four main themes:

  1. education’s promise;
  2. the need to shine a light on learning;
  3. how to make schools work for learners; and
  4.  how to make systems work for learning.

Highlights from the report:

  • Most importantly, the report is not on education in general but about early childhood development
  • The report says that millions of young students face the prospect of lost opportunity and lower wages in later life because their primary and secondary schools are failing to educate them to succeed in life.
  • The effects of stunting in the early years on physical, cognitive and socio-emotional development prevent children from learning well in later years
  • The report also discusses the far-reaching impact of poverty and chronic malnutrition on the physical and mental development of children.
  • The report makes a moral case for education, with a rights-based approach, and sub-sections titled ‘Education as freedom’; ‘Education improves individual freedoms’; ‘Education benefits all of society’.
  • According to the ‘World Development Report 2018: ‘Learning to Realise Education’s Promise’, released recently, India ranks second after Malawi in a list of 12 countries wherein a grade two student could not read a single word of a short text. India also tops the list of seven countries in which a grade two student could not perform two-digit subtraction.
  • The report argued that without learning, education will fail to deliver on its promise to eliminate extreme poverty and create shared opportunity and prosperity for all as Even after several years in school, millions of children cannot read, write or do basic math.This learning crisis is widening social gaps instead of narrowing them

The health-education paradigm: facts from the report

Stunted growth, also known as stunting and nutritional stunting, is a reduced growth rate in human development. 

  1. The report points out that in low-income countries, stunting rates among children under-five are almost three times higher in the poorest quintile than in the richest. Thus, early childhood development programmes are to be scaled up and resourced for nutritional inputs.
  2.  The report did not regard technology as a panacea in itself but as something that has the potential to enhance learning.It puts the teacher-learner relationship is at the centre of learning.
  3.  According to the report focus should also be on antenatal and postnatal care, sanitation, and counselling of parents for effective early child stimulation.
  4.  The report adds that it is equally important to fund the sector better; improve teacher training; support the continuing professional development of teachers; and help teachers to help the poorest children to learn.
  5.  Further, initiatives are to be taken beyond reading and arithmetic, any meaningful assessment of learning should also consider aspects such as comprehension, problem solving, critical thinking, and innovation.

What are the consequences of substandard education?

  • Unemployment: The substandard education system in India gives rise to unemployment. The students are not made eligible enough to solve problems but rote learning
  • Quality of education: There are many private teacher-training institutes in India, but the quality of the training they provide is unsatisfactory.
  • Accountability: Substandard education gives rise to lack of accountability of teachers and school authorities has raised the rate of absenteeism.
  • Dissatisfaction: This leads to dissatisfaction, eventually resulting in a dearth of teachers both in rural and urban areas.

What are the problems of educational sector in India?

  • Improper infrastructure: Most schools in India are not yet compliant with the complete set of Right to Education infrastructure indicators.
  • They lacks drinking water facilities, a functional common toilet, and do not have separate toilets for girls.
  • Social discrimination: The Indian society suffers from many kind of discrimination so there are many hurdles in education of unprivileged sections of society like women, SC, ST and minority.
  • Insufficient funds: A very minimal amount of subsidy is provided for higher education.
  • Thus, the demand for financial resources far exceeds the supply.
  • Corruption: Corruption in Indian education system has been eroding the quality of education.
  • System of learning: Modern education in India is often criticized for being based on rote learning rather than problem solving.
  • High dropout rate especially for females due to lack of toilets in many schools.

What are the government initiatives for educational sector in India?

  • Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan: Launched in 2001 Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan(SSA) is one of India‟s major flagship programmes for universalisation of elementary education.
  • Its overall goals include universal access and retention, bridging of gender and social category gaps in elementary education, and achieving significant enhancement in learning levels of children.
  • Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya: KGBVs are residential upper primary schools for girls from SC, ST, OBC and Muslim communities.
  • KGBVs are set up in areas of scattered habitations where schools are at great distances and are a challenge to the security of girls.
  • Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS): Commonly referred to as MDMS, this was expected to enhance enrolment, retention, attendance of children in schools apart from improving their nutritional levels.
  • A detailed survey of implementation of intended nutritional values including calorific value, protein inclusion, additional nutritional supplements and vitamins, as detailed in the scheme, needs to be carried out to ensure that the nutrition scheme is implemented in both spirit and letter.
  • Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA)This scheme was launched in March, 2009 with the objective to enhance access to secondary education and to improve its quality. The implementation of the scheme started from 2009-10. It is envisaged to achieve an enrolment rate of 75% from 52.26% in 2005-06 at secondary stage of implementation of the scheme by providing a secondary school within a reasonable distance of any habitation. The other objectives include improving quality of education imparted at secondary level through making all secondary schools conform to prescribed norms, removing gender, socio-economic and disability barriers, providing universal access to secondary level education by 2017, i.e., by the end of 12th Five Year Plan and achieving universal retention by 2020.
  • Operation Blackboard: Operation Blackboard is a centrally sponsored programme which aims at providing students studying in primary settings with the necessary institutional equipment and instructional material to facilitate their education.

What is National Food Security Mission?

  • National Food Security Mission was launched by the Government of India in October 2007.
  • It has been launched in view of the stagnating food grain production and an increasing consumption need of the growing population.


  • Its prime objective is to increase food security by stepping up the overall food production and food stocks held by the government and ensure that the nation remains self-sufficient and prices remain under check.

Its secondary objectives are:

  • Develop water catchment areas
  • Improve water management and conservation through innovative use of technology
  • Encourage farmers to adopt ‘More Crop Per Drop’ techniques
  • Step up developing and subsidised distribution of high-yielding/ hybrid seeds
  • Develop more productive and low-cost farming equipment and tools
  • Make more electricity available to farmers and at subsidised rates
  • Encourage higher adoption of crop insurance by farmers
  • Step up bank financing at subsidised rates
  • Increase farmer education and training by leveraging IT and telecom.

What is the way forward?

  • Necessary budgetary allocations are to be provided both for effective implementation of the schemes and also for the proposed reform initiatives.
  • The initiatives or schemes formulated are to be supervised periodically.
  • And most importantly, there is an urgent need to make reforms in examinations, governance, regulation, school standards, teachers & faculty, literacy & lifelong learning, skills and employability, quality assurance, internationalization, research, curricula, innovation etc. so as to build an education system that promotes equitable access to quality education to all sections of the society.
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