Summary of The Global Learning Crisis – and What to Do About It

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As a child, Amel Karboul benefited when Tunisia invested one-fifth of its budget in education. Now, she’s paying it forward as a member of the Education Commission, an international collaboration to ensure that every child accesses school and learns. These are lofty goals, but Karboul posits that through solutions she outlines in this talk, they’ll be attainable within a single generation. getAbstract recommends this talk to policy makers, administrators and teachers.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What factors comprise the global learning crisis,
  • How the international Education Commission is addressing the crisis and
  • What solutions will end it within one generation.

About the Speaker

Amel Karboul, PhD, was Tunisia’s first female minister of tourism. She is the author of Coffin Corner.



The world is facing a “learning crisis”: Some 250 million children aren’t in school, and 330 million schoolchildren aren’t learning. The outlook for 2030 is dire if society hesitates to act. Thus, the international Education Commission aims to shift the focus “from schooling to learning.” The process starts with sorting countries by their low, middle or high income level. If every country keeps pace with the “25% fastest improvers” in its income category, then the goal of complete attendance and learning is achievable within a single generation. For instance, Tunisia shouldn’t try to emulate Finland, but rather Vietnam. Tunisia and Vietnam have similar education budgets, but Vietnam gets better results by employing standardized reading and numeracy tests, monitoring teachers, and tracking students’ progress. Only half of developing countries assess student progress, meaning teachers have no proof of learning, so their governments lack focus in education spending. Before education can demand more funding, it must deliver results. Otherwise, new investments fund “inefficiencies.”

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