Achieving learning for all will require ensuring that all students, not just the most advantaged, acquire the knowledge and skills they need to end the intergenerational cycle of poverty and lead healthy, productive lives. This means identifying and working towards removing the barriers that often keep girls, children with disabilities, the extreme poor, and indigenous people, from accessing a quality education.
As countries make progress toward achieving the Education for All (EFA) goals and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for education - achieving universal primary education and gender parity in education - the global community is focusing on the nearly 70 million children who are still out of school. Together we are working to ensure they too are able to reap the full benefits of a quality education. In addition, the international community is focusing on the millions of children who are in school but are not acquiring the necessary skills to compete in the global knowledge economy. Now more than ever, countries are zeroing in on children who are hardest-to-reach and disadvantaged - because, even when these children attend school, they often do not complete primary education or benefit from quality teaching and learning. Recent results of regional and international assessments consistently show large learning gaps among students based on their socioeconomic backgrounds.
The colloquium, Getting to Equal in Education: Addressing Gender and Multiple Sources of Disadvantage to Achieve Learning, brought together leading researchers, thinkers from the public and private sectors, and practitioners to discuss interventions that help address multiple sources of educational disadvantage, with a focus on gender. In addition to knowledge sharing, the colloquium ensured that a wealth of experiences and viewpoints were shared in order to further the dialogue around improving the quality of evidence used for policy making. The colloquium reaffirmed the World Bank’s commitment to gender equality and to reducing multiple sources of disadvantage. This commitment is detailed in the World Bank’s Education Sector Strategy, Learning for All: Investing in People's Knowledge and Skills to Promote Development, and recommendations for going forward are outlined in the World Bank's World Development Report 2012, Gender Equality and Development.
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