‘Growing Smarter’ together: World Bank offers lessons on East Asia education

‘Growing Smarter’ together: World Bank offers lessons on East Asia education

“What are the solutions when schools are succeeding superficially, but the overwhelming majority of students are failing to learn?”

More children are going to school and staying enrolled longer than ever before in East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) region. During the past 50 years, EAP countries have transformed their economies by investing in their workforces’ knowledge, skills and abilities. Yet hundreds of millions of students in the region attend school – while not actually learning – and about two-thirds remain in schools mired in the global learning crisis.

The World Bank’s new flagship “Growing Smarter: Learning and Equitable Development in East Asia and Pacific” report focuses on the experiences of countries in the region that have been able to expand schooling and successfully pursue system-wide education reforms. By examining these experiences, the report diagnoses problems and details recommendations to improve education systems in the EAP region, and indeed across the world.

“Lessons for Education Development from East Asia: Growing Smarter” was the theme of a special seminar hosted by the NEQMAP (Network on Education Quality Monitoring in the Asia Pacific) Secretariat at UNESCO Bangkok on 25 May 2018. 

Ms. Maki Hayashikawa, Chief of UNESCO Bangkok’s Inclusive Quality Education Section, opened the seminar with an overview of education development in Asia-Pacific. Her remarks was followed by Dr. Harry Patrinos, Practice Manager for the East Asia & the Pacific region of the World Bank's education global practice, who introduced the “Growing Smarter” report, as well as the Bank’s previous work on education quality in the “Harmonised Learning Outcomes” report.

The seminar also included Mr. Moritz Bilagher, Head of the NEQMAP Secretariat at UNESCO Bangkok, who introduced NEQMAP’s work in the context of Dr. Patrinos’s remarks and the concept of quality education. Dr. Ethel Agnes Pascua-Valenzuela, Deputy Director for Programme and Development with the SEAMEO (Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization) Secretariat, addressed the “Growing Smarter” analysis from a South-East Asia perspective and share relevant SEAMEO work. 

Presentation files and seminar recording