Learning Poverty

The World Bank calls on the global community to cut by at least half the global rate of Learning Poverty, which is defined as the percentage of 10-year-old children who cannot read and understand a simple story, by 2030. New data jointly produced with the UIS show that 53 percent of 10-year-old children in low- and middle-income countries cannot read and understand a simple story. In the poorest countries, the number is often close to 80 percent. The World Bank aims to address barriers to basic literacy through a campaign in which heads of multilateral agencies have pledged to work together to develop better data on learning through the UNESCO-led Global Coalition for Education Data.

The Learning Poverty Indicator comprises two components: learning and participation. The learning component refers to learning outcomes data in reading mapped to 10-year-old children. The participation component corresponds to the out-of-school rate for children or primary school age. SDG 4 Indicator 4.1.1 is about learning outcomes data in reading and mathematics mapped to early grades (grade 2/3), end of primary, and end of lower secondary. Strictly speaking, the Learning Poverty Indicator is not an SDG 4 Indicator as it takes learning outcomes results in reading from either SDG 4 Indicator 4.1.1 in early grades, at the end of primary, or other learning outcomes results not mapped to those levels but to 10-year-old children.

Learning Poverty, a brief on understanding poverty by the World Bank 15 October 2019

Learning Poverty: Historical data and sub-components

Ending Learning Poverty: What Will It Take? A report by the World Bank

Will Every Child Be Able to Read by 2030?, Azevedo et al. (2021) Policy Research Working Paper 9588