UN: World Wasting $129 Billion on Inadequate Education

Warns poor quality standards cost 10 percent of global spending on primary education

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The United Nations’ cultural agency, UNESCO, published a damning report Wednesday claiming governments worldwide were wasting almost $130 billion on poor quality education.

The agency warned that one in four young people in poor countries were unable to read a sentence and a quarter of a billion children worldwide are failing to learn basic reading and maths skills, reports AFP.

This failing in education standards “is equivalent to $129 billion, or 10 percent of global spending on primary education,” warned the report’s authors, adding that educators needed to focus not only on enrollment rates, but better teaching.

“What’s the point in an education if children emerge after years in school without the skills they need?” asked Pauline Rose, director of the annual UNESCO education monitoring report.

Other sobering takeaways from the report include that in a third of the countries analyzed, some 120 million primary-school aged children had little or no experience of school and only up to a quarter of existing primary school teachers were trained to national standards.