Unveiled at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s annual meeting in Indonesia, the report measured countries’ success in human capital development, noting significant funding gaps were “leaving the world poorly prepared for what lies ahead”.
“This index is going to have comparable evidence… and that is where controversy is going to come”
“[There is a] learning crisis in education because of a lack of alignment between strategies related to teachers, learners, and school management,” said Francisco Marmolejo, tertiary education global coordinator at the World Bank.
“The beauty of this sort of index is basically… comparable evidence… and that is where controversy is going to come,” he said.
Speaking prior to the project’s launch, Marmolejo said the index was not meant to be used as a ranking but anticipated it would be viewed as such, adding he hoped doing so would push governments to increase investment in a bid to improve their global position.
The report’s methodology measured human capital by anticipating the outcomes of a child born today against the education they will receive in their home country.
“The productivity of the future worker is explained by those factors that were playing a role on his or her development,” said Marmolejo.
Among its findings, an additional year of education generates higher earnings, especially for those in low to middle-income countries and for women, but the report added the quality of education had more impact.
Within the US, the HCP concluded replacing a low-quality elementary school teacher with one of average skills would increase a classroom’s combined lifetime earnings by $US250,000.
African countries were ranked lowest, with Chad and South Sudan taking the bottom spots. Singapore, meanwhile, ranked first, followed by South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong, with the UK and US sitting at 15th and 24th, respectively.