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Education

Bricks-and-mortar learning is obsolete

Nhi Doan's picture
© pickingpok/Shutterstock
© pickingpok/Shutterstock

In Sociology, I took a sip of my future.

Outside the classroom, my digital native self was poised to go online. Hungry to explore Goffman’s concept of dramaturgy and the implications of deviance, I would dig up CrashCourse videos, The Atlantic articles, edX courses, and everything in between. In these endeavors, a curious mélange of theory and application was always to be found: long and short reads of various styles, pop quizzes, data visualizations, videos, and global discussion forums fused together to make a compelling narrative, which screams “you’re the special one!” Like fellows of my own cohort, I bounce back and forth between the real world and the data-saturated virtual world, being fueled with an insatiable zeal for knowledge that is new, egalitarian, and individually curated.

Inside, however, the axis was flipped. In temporarily tuning out of online information consumption, I tuned in to the intimate experience of being human — talking, collaborating, inquiring, creating, storytelling. If anything, this class instilled in me a sense of mental flexibility, such that I could navigate tomorrow’s uncertain world with almost everything unconceived.

The future is in the decisions we make now

Ishita Gupta's picture
© Alexander Supertramp/Shutterstock
© Alexander Supertramp/Shutterstock

 Only attending school four days a week, most of your time is spent outdoor learning spaces. With the help of Blended E-learning, you can study on your own, focusing time on strategic topics through a plan personalized for you. Your AI learning assistant grades and offers feedback on your assignments, guiding you through difficult problems step by step, reteaching you concepts from scratch if necessary.
 
In geography class, you put on a virtual reality headset. Suddenly you are transported to the Andes in South America. Mesmerized by the colossal formations all around, you take notes on which materials constitute the vibrant spectrum of rock layers. History debates come alive as you and your classmates reimagine the Paris Peace Conference, sitting in the Palace of Versailles.
 
The possibilities are truly endless.

We need a reskilling revolution. Here's how to make it happen

Børge Brende's picture
As the world of work changes, so must our approach to education and skills. Photo: Reuters

As the world faces the transformative economic, social and environmental challenges of , it has never been more important to invest in people.

Valuing not only serves to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to respond to systemic shifts, it also empowers them to take part in creating a more equal, inclusive and sustainable world.

World Bank Group, Financial Times’ blog writing competition winners announced

Arathi Sundaravadanan's picture
World Bank Group and Financial Times’ blog writing competition winners Ishita Gupta from India and Nhi Doan from Vietnam at the World Bank Group headquarters in Washington, DC moments before receiving their award. © Bassam Sebti/World Bank
World Bank Group and Financial Times’ blog writing competition winners Ishita Gupta from India and Nhi Doan from Vietnam at the World Bank Group headquarters in Washington, DC moments before receiving their award. © Bassam Sebti/World Bank

In December we announced the World Bank Group and the Financial Times blog writing competition, ‘How Would You Reimagine Education?’ The competition closed on January 31st and we received almost 600 entries from more than 90 countries. This competition built on our as well as the World Bank’s World Development Reports on The  and .

Several common themes emerged from the blog posts across cultures and continents. Despite the rising use of technology in classrooms, students said teachers and personal interactions would always remain valuable. They also highlighted that teaching methods have not changed for centuries and reviving that system to help students think critically, solve problems, and enhance their creativity would be crucial.

What happens when someone is unable to access health or education? These artworks confront these very questions

Juliana J Biondo's picture
Human Capital exhibition at the World Bank Group Visitor Center in Washington, DC. © Bassam Sebti/World Bank
Human Capital exhibition at the World Bank Group Visitor Center in Washington, DC. © Bassam Sebti/World Bank

What exactly is ? The phrase itself is only two words: “Capital” refers to an asset that improves one’s ability to be economically productive while “Human” refers to the individual as the very unit in which the asset comes. Taken together however, the phrase transforms to be about that which an individual human can harness within themselves to realize their full potential, and be the best contributor to society they can be.

What can each individual harness to make the most for, and of themselves? This is the question that the contemporary visual art exhibition on view in the Gallery in the seeks to understand.

But, how can we ensure that every human being has access to those three things? What happens when someone is unable to access health, knowledge, skills - some, or all three? The artworks on view confront these very questions. 

Making Pakistan more equitable for all

Silvia Redaelli's picture
Between 2001 and 2015, approximately 32 million people were lifted out of poverty
Photo: World Bank

This blog is part of a series that discusses findings from the  report, which identifies the changes necessary for Pakistan to become a strong upper middle-income country by the time it turns 100 years old in 2047. 

. Estimates based on the national poverty line, which was set at Rs3,030.3 per adult equivalent per month based on 2013-14 prices, show a consistent decline over the past two decades.
 
. However, a lot is yet to be done.

Not only because 2015 estimates show that approximately one in four Pakistani still does not have enough money to satisfy basic needs, but – even more alarming – progress has been far from equal when looking across the provinces, districts, cities, and rural areas.
 
.
 
Within provinces, poverty has remained stubbornly high in Southern Punjab and Northern Sindh. Similarly, the pace of poverty reduction has been slower in rural areas compared to cities, where the risk of poverty is less than half compared to rural areas.

Inequalities in poverty levels and poverty reduction performance are compounded by substantial inequalities in access to and quality of basic services such as health, education, electricity, water, and sanitation.
 
Being born in one of the country’s lagging areas and/or in a poor family largely predetermines a child’s chances of escaping deprivation and realizing his or her full human capital potential in life.

Ways for Sri Lanka to fix its healthcare

Deepika Attygalle's picture
Ways for Sri Lanka to fix its healthcare
Nurses in Sri Lanka. Photo: World Bank



This year’s focus on universal health care is a timely reminder that

Many of these measures were designed to address what were then considered the key challenges of previous centuries, such as high maternal and child mortality rates and infectious diseases that claimed the health and lives of thousands.
 
.  
 
Sri Lanka’s healthcare faces new challenges
 
However, we can no longer afford to rest on our laurels. Our policies and systems must now evolve to address the country’s urgent concerns.
 
The island must also now contend with a worrying rise in non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases (CVD), ischemic heart disease and stroke, cancers, diabetes, and respiratory conditions such as asthma.
 
and this is taking place while the country is aspiring to become an upper middle-income country. 

.
 
With such a rapidly aging population in Sri Lanka, it is imperative for policymakers to ensure that social and economic institutions in the country are ready to face the health challenges and social consequences ahead.
 
In response, Sri Lanka is undertaking an ambitious agenda that will strengthen and expand primary healthcare services from the ground up. Documented in  this approach is backed by strong evidence.

.

Facilitated by , and supported by the World Bank, the report makes a case for why, and how, Sri Lanka must re-imagine its primary healthcare systems in order to attain the goals of universal healthcare. 

What’s behind South Asia’s low exports?

Hans Timmer's picture
South Asian countries’ exports are only one-third of what they should be, had they mirrored the experience of economies with similar characteristics. Without further integration into global markets, South Asia will not sustain its growth. Photo: Shutterstock 

This blog highlights the findings from the recent

Bela Balassa worked for the World Bank from 1966 till his death in 1991. Luckily, his insights on international integration, revealed comparative advantages, trade diversion, and natural progress toward political integration have outlived him.

And what Bela is best-known for—and rightfully so—is the Balassa-Samuelson effect.

Put simply, this effect explains why a haircut or a restaurant meal is much cheaper in poor countries than in rich countries whereas the price tag for a car or a television is almost the same everywhere.

What’s behind this phenomenon is simple and can be summed up in three parts.

First,

Second, the prices of non-tradable goods like haircuts can differ.

And third, the difference in productivity across countries is much more significant in tradable goods than in non-tradable goods. For example, a barber in Dhaka needs roughly the same amount of time as a barber in New York to cut my hair.

But manufacturers or farmers in Nepal need more labor to produce the same output than their counterparts in Germany.

.  

Should women get a job? “Yes...but” say Pakistani men

Saman Amir's picture
A large number of Pakistani women waiting to get relief money for her own business work at Lahore, Pakistan.
Pakistani women in Lahore, Pakistan. Photo: A M Syed, Shutterstock

 
This blog is part of a series examining women’s economic empowerment in South Asia.

In patriarchal societies—as in most of Pakistan—men exert much influence over the lives of their female relatives and almost always have exclusive control over household income.
 
, especially outside the home.

Conversely, men reluctant to see women in the workplace can derail progress toward greater participation of women in the labor force.
 
As part of the Women in the Workforce study, .[1]
 
Despite the constraints of a purposive sampling technique, a few broad themes emerged from these interviews that can be relevant to anyone advocating for women’s economic empowerment.
 
As anywhere in the world, men’s attitudes toward women’s work were varied. 
 
Some men we spoke to expressed support for women’s work for economic gain.
 
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