What is learning poverty?

The World Bank and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics jointly constructed the concept of learning poverty to spotlight the learning crisis that exists across the word.

In its narrow definition, learning poverty exists when children are unable to read and understand simple text by age 10. Its indicator is the share of children who have not achieved minimum reading proficiency, as measured in schools, and as adjusted by the proportion of children who are out of school (these children are assumed not to be able to read proficiently).

In its broader conception beyond reading, learning poverty also reflects the real struggle children have to build basic numeracy and mathematical competencies, social-emotional skills, digital literacy, and more. 

At the Age of Learning Foundation, we focus on mastery learning because we believe that children with the skills to master what they learn can never be learning poor.

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