Transforming Education Through Technology is a Key to Underpinning Human Security and Progress

Would January 6th not have happened if the population had been better educated? In America, liberals might say ‘yes, of course’ and conservatives might say ‘no, it has nothing to do with education.’ And that is symptomatic of the problem. Can these deep divisions within societies like the US and the UK since Brexit be resolved with higher levels of education? Indeed, can we create more stable societies fit for the rapid changes and big decisions that are required on matters such as climate change, relationships between countries, trade, human rights and many more, without better educated populations? And without education, what chance is there that populations will be able to discern the compelling news from fake news sources that is being churned out in unprecedented volumes?

History shows that education is one of the most critical drivers of peace, prosperity, and freedom for societies. The US’ economic rise over the last 125 years was greatly assisted by the expansion of education opportunities to women and their subsequent assimilation into the labour forcei. China’s rapid ascent, and the rise of the ‘Asian Tigers’ in the 1990s was directly underpinned by their significant investments in primary and secondary educationii. Better education leads to higher earnings, while better average learning outcomes drive economic growth, and as a result, better education levels correlate directly to more democratic and peaceful societies. For these same reasons, education is a critical pillar of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030, captured in SDG-4.

Since the turn of the century, the world has expanded access to education, captured in impressive statistics. The number of children out of school globally has been reduced by a third or by c.117 million since 2000, secondary education completion has increased by c.650 million, and the number of people with some level of higher education has increased by c.420 millioniii. Major differences remain both between and within countries, creating a gap that allows for not just economic inequity but disturbing instabilities in political, economic, and social behaviours. Even if we could close the gaps, complexity and therefore the demands on people are growing faster than we can roll out education.

For developing countries, the challenges are similar to those faced by developed countries and at the same time basic in that they also need to ensure access to affordable high-quality education. For developed countries which enjoy near universal primary and secondary access already, the challenges are the re-tooling of existing education systems and the re-skilling of workforces for the changing nature of global work, and to be able to build a well-informed citizenry in an increasingly complex world. However, it is clear that we cannot train (and re-train) enough teachers or build enough schools to meet the SDGs, and certainly not to create the level of awareness needed to meet the ever-demanding societal challenges.

Technology has the potential to close these gaps that will only become more urgent, and the digital revolution along with rapidly growing high-quality connectivity has unleashed a torrent of innovation that can address the persistent challenges in global education. Digital technology is already being applied in a multitude of ways to educate, ranging from digitally disseminating content to new learning models to tools designed to improve the quality and efficacy of education. And these technologies are in turn driving private and public investments in content, hardware, software, and technology services.

The pandemic offered a glimpse into the future as nearly 1.8 billion students globally were affected by lockdowns and school closuresiv and forced onto online schooling, in some cases for well over a year. Schools and universities were forced to rapidly adopt and adapt to digital tools. Individual learners of all ages also used the time to build new skills and non-formal online education increased sharply during this period. While remote education using digital tools cannot fully replace traditional in-person schooling, it has demonstrated that it does indeed have the potential to address many of the challenges in access and quality, radically alter cost structures and make quality content more affordable.

This month’s Sign of the Times looks at the key challenges in global education, how education technology is addressing these challenges, and the path ahead to drive real learning outcomes and close the global education gap for more functional societies in a more demanding world.


Closing Education Gaps is Critical for Sustainable Development

Education has the potential to transform societies economically, socially, and politically to create at once more stable societies with arguments resolved with debate and discussion, and more innovation and risk taking.Education may well be the key differentiator between societies that are stable and enduring and those that are notTherefore, investments in education, when well-designed and executed, feed a virtuous cycle where better learning outcomes lead to faster wealth creation, and this leads to greater investments in education. Higher levels of education are directly correlated to higher earnings across countries and regions, and even more so in the Information Age, where the quality of human capital is a critical driver of economic growth and the ‘education premium’ has increased across countries as aggregate demand has shifted in favour of workers with technical skills and advanced college educationv.

The UN SDGs, whose achievement by 2030 is critical for the world to have a sustainable development path and to be able to address the key issues of environmental and social sustainability, and governance, fundamentally recognise that such a path is not possible without delivering quality education (SDG-4), which is included among the first four goals as a basic human need. Specific SDG targets include universal access to free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education, the elimination of gender and other disparities and providing equal access to affordable and quality vocational and tertiary education, among others. Further, education systems in developed countries, while well established, have proven to be insufficiently dynamic to provide populations with skills relevant in a rapidly changing world, allowing them to navigate employment markets being disrupted by technology and media landscapes distorted by social media and fake news.

Solving the education gaps has profound implications for humankind. While we build technologies to reach other planets, create alternative energy platforms and build virtual metaverses,While we build technologies to reach other planets, create alternative energy platforms and build virtual metaverses, 1 billion peoplevi lack the education necessary to be considered literate 1 billion people lack a good enough education to be considered literate and 375m of the world’s jobs today are expected to be made obsolete by AI in the next decade alonevii, and modern societies are being rocked by instability caused by National Populism confounding mass population’s ability to judge the veracity of information. It is against this backdrop of two distinct gaps, one of depth in emerging markets and one of breadth in developed markets that the global education landscape needs to be assessed.

Steady Expansion of Education Access Since 2000. The world has made rapid progress since the turn of the century in expanding access to education. The number of out-of-school students has reduced from 375 million in 2000 to 258 million currently (a c.30% fall), while there has steady expansion in the proportion of students completing their primary and secondary education. The number of individuals globally who have completed their lower and upper secondary education has increased by c.400 million and c.650 million respectively, since 2000. Similarly, there has been an expansion in higher education and the number of individuals globally with some level of university education has doubled from c.420 million to c.840 million since 2000 (see Exhibit 4).



However, Significant Gaps and Inequalities Remain. In spite of the progress in increasing capacity and access to all levels of education, there continue to be significant gaps in achievement both within countries and across countries. While enrolment in primary schooling has increased, 10% of primary school age children are still not completing their primary schooling. The gap in lower secondary (middle school) completion is c.23%, while for overall secondary schooling, approximately one-third of children of the relevant age are not in school. University level enrolment is still below 50%.



The overall global numbers above conceal significant inequalities between developed and developing countries, and wide gaps within countries too. Of the estimated 258 million children, adolescents, and youth not in school, only c.3% are in North America and Europexi. Further, children in urban areas and from wealthier households have significantly higher attendance rates at all levels of education, and the gaps in access get further exacerbated as wealthier schools attract the most funding and teaching talent. In low- and middle-income countries, adolescents from the richest 20% households are three times as likely as those from the poorest to complete their lower secondary education and of those who complete, students from the richest households are twice as likely as those from the poorest households to reach minimum proficiency in reading and mathematicsxii. “This crisis has in many ways exacerbated existing inequalities in education, which is why a focus on equity and learning recovery is paramount as children return to school.” The State of Global Education Crisis, Joint UNESCO, UNICEF, and World Bank Report

The Pandemic has Reversed Progress, Increasing Inequality. In 2020, the pandemic and the resultant lockdowns forced school closures across the world which are estimated to have impacted 9 out of 10 students, or c.1.8 billion children and youths globally. In some cases, these closures were prolonged over a year. This led to major learning losses with over 100 million more children falling below minimum reading proficiency levels. The impact was particularly acute in developing countries and regions (see Exhibit 6), where students from lower income levels faced difficulty accessing digital connectivity, devices, and tools to enable an effective remote education.


Without significant remediation measures, the impact of the pandemic and the loss in learning outcomes could be long-lasting and severe, with estimates suggesting that the learning losses could cost the current generation of students c.US$17 trillion in lifetime earnings, or c.15% of world GDP todayxiii. The positive of the tragic pandemic that hit the world of course is that it demonstrated the potential of remote education, and showed a potential way towards closing the gaps, though it will clearly require a lot of work to fully exploit this opportunity, addressing the pre-pandemic gaps as well as the additional gaps that have been created as a result of the pandemic.


The Challenge of Distributing More Education Today, While Re-inventing Education for Tomorrow

While there are usually specific local issues in each education system, at the global level, there are a number of challenges across countries and regions which will need to be resolved to narrow the education gap and prepare the education system for the challenges of the future too. These include:

  1. Inability to Build Physical, Digital, and Human Infrastructure Fast Enough. The physical and human infrastructure alone required to deliver universal education cannot keep pace with demand: c.70m new teachers need to be recruited and trained for universal primary and secondary education by 2030xiv. And to be prepared for the future, schools will need to be digitally equipped as well, and only a third of the public schools in low-income countries have regular access to electricity to enable the use of technology infrastructure in the first placexv.

  2. ‘Standards’ Have Become a Barrier to Access and to New Entrants Developing Mass Content. In most countries, the government closely guards standards for formal degrees and certifications and core curriculums (particularly in primary and secondary education), and these are becoming a critical entry barrier for new private sector entrants who have the ability invest in augment capacity. Looking further, in a world where high-quality learning content is available for free or near free (on Wikipedia or YouTube for example), standards will also need to adapt for the digital world where content comes from many different sources yet achieves the core objective of creating informed citizens.

  3. The Best Education is Geared up for the Elite. While most countries have built out top-tier private educational institutions to cater to the demand from elites, these remain inaccessible and/or unaffordable for many, in particular for lower income groups, and high-quality public institutions tend to have demand far outstripping supply. Parents of all income levels are willing to pay (and even borrow) for a top-quality education for their children, however, many top-tier institutions are out of reach not only because of cost, but because there just are not enough seats (reflected in the high ‘cut-off’ scores at many top-tier institutions across countries) and the deviation between the quality of these schools and middle and lower tier institutions is extremely wide.

  4. Raising Quality is a Must and Has Become Like Catching a Falling Knife. Though significant capacity has been built out, learning outcomes are ultimately determined by the quality of teachers and infrastructure, and significant further upgradation is required to bring quality standards in line with top-tier institutions. Quality standards are also a moving target and need to be constantly augmented to equip learners with the necessary technical, social, and emotional skillsets for an increasingly complex world and a future where the key success factors for students will be very different than they were in the past.

  5. Education is Struggling to Stay Relevant to an Information and Attention Economy. Most education systems globally are encumbered to some extent or another by legacy systems and curriculums that need to be quickly adapted for the current context, with focus shifting to equipping students and workers with the skillsets required to succeed in the information economy. In the near-term, this includes technical skillsets (coding, analytics, and artificial intelligence for example) required to succeed in the marketplace, but also needs to include the skillsets needed to live in a highly digitised and complex world awash with fake news and make judgements on the existential challenges of climate change and sustainable development, amongst others.

Given the scope and nature of the challenges, it is clear that the existing models of education are inadequate to address them. In terms of resourcing for example, the world simply cannot train and deploy enough teachers within the required timescales, particularly in places like South Asia and Africa where there is not only a massive shortage of teachers, but the existing teachers also need to be fully trained. In low-income nations, only 58% of the teachers at the secondary level have the minimum required qualifications required to teach at that particular levelxvi. Further, it is virtually impossible to solve these challenges individually, or in each country separately. Given their inter-linked nature, they will need to be solved collectively, and globally at scale.


Technology is on an Inexorable Path to Address Educational Gaps

Solving global education challenges will require radical and innovative solutions, and emerging digital technologies and artificial intelligence have the potential to address each of the challenges at some level or another. The pandemic has allowed the world to test the bounds of remote learning in a ‘fire drill’ of sorts.“Partnerships with the private sector can help mobilize resources and expertise across the board and encourage initiatives that can fast-forward progress at a pace governments may be unlikely to achieve on their own.” Global Education Monitoring Report 2021/2, UNESCO

The intersection of technology and education is called EdTech and is the latest technology meets a traditional sector story and is rapidly evolving from a ‘Wild West’ to something more structured within which new entrants can come and play and embodies a spirit of boldness, innovation, risk taking, outsized returns and failures that do not slow down the entry and interest.





The Emerging Well Populated and Rapidly Developing EdTech Landscape

There are a number of key messages to be taken from the current global education technology landscape, which suggest that innovation has reached a tipping point where it may indeed be capable of solving the challenges at scale, and globally.

  • Legacy Education Sector is Largely Focused on Publishing. Traditional education business models have focused on offline education content delivered through bricks-and-mortar institutions, test preparation centres and publishers.

  • Digital has Given Rise to Players with Global Ambitions. EdTech companies, flush with pandemic related capital flows, are seeking to address myriad education challenges on a global, rather than regional or national level.

  • New Players are Scaling Across the Whole Value Chain. This has given rise to scaled and fast-growing companies throughout the education value chain, with the number of EdTech unicorns increasing from 11 in 2019 to 35 currently.

  • Tutoring and Online Program Management are Emerging as the Largest Sectors in Education. EdTech firms are largely focused on online tutoring (K-12 and higher education) and online program management (OPMs) that offer online courses aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the Web, with over 20 of the 35 EdTech unicorns offering products and services targeting these two segments.

  • Innovative Technologies are Transforming Offerings Across the Whole Value Chain. However, new business models are emerging leveraging mobility, personalisation, social and gamified learning by both institutions and corporates, and creating new scaled EdTech firms across the value chain.

  • China’s Tech Crackdown Has Created an Opportunity for Others to Attract Capital and Take the Lead. China and the US have traditionally been the largest EdTech markets and have attracted the most venture funding (US$30bn and US$21bnxix respectively from 2010 to 2021). However, the tech crackdown by the Chinese government has opened up opportunities for other countries and regions.

  • India is Scaling as a Global EdTech Leader, Reflecting the Huge Demand-Supply Gap. India, in particular has becomes an attractive destination given its engineering capabilities and ability to build high-quality EdTech products and services for global markets, while leveraging its low-cost structure, receiving c.20% of the US$20bn EdTech venture funding in 2021 (vs. less than 15% in 2020).

The shift in focus from growth at all costs to capital efficiency will impact those firms whose businesses without sustainable revenue models and cost structures.


Radical Ways in Which EdTech is Changing Access, Habits, and Closing the Global Education Gap

The pandemic has unleashed fundamental shifts which will continue to drive innovation in EdTech both by the unicorns who were beneficiaries in the last surge and a large league of smaller start-ups that will become the unicorns of the future. Despite its rapid growth, the EdTech industry is still at a nascent stage, and is only c.5% of the total current spending on education and training. The current slowdown in global funding pressures the industry to evolve from high growth, high cash burn operating models to profitable, sustainable business models. Among the current market leaders, the winners are likely to be those firms that innovate in their content, business model, distribution, platform for delivery and ensure tangible outcomes for learners as they try to address the gaps in education.Why is it so hard to educate the world? The answer is essentially that education has been stuck in an industrial model, essentially a hierarchical, process chained, high touch, mass production, narrow-media model

Why is it so hard to educate the world? The answer is essentially that education has been stuck in an industrial model, essentially a hierarchical, process chained, high touch, mass production, narrow-media model. To answer the question whether better education would have prevented the storming of the US Capitol on Jan 6th, 2021, the answer must be no if better education simply means more of the same. Populations in the US (as in most of the world) are better educated today than at any point in time in history, and the world still finds itself riddled with partisanship, misinformation, and inequality. In today’s rapidly changing networked and digital world, education needs to do more than teach the same information and skills learned by students’ parents and grandparents, using models unchanged for generations. To support human and planetary security, education systems need to be dynamic, flexible, and context specific, teaching critical thinking and judgement and leveraging well the very technologies that are changing the societies they are seeking to educate

Education systems need to be dynamic, flexible, and context specific, teaching critical thinking and judgement and leveraging well the very technologies that are changing the societies they are seeking to educate. To re-imagine the future of education one has to borrow from a number of scientific fields that are pushing the boundaries to enter new paradigm.


  1. Fractionalisation

    Providing modular courses to break the chain. Akin to how mass retail share ownership changed financial markets, EdTech can enable education to be delivered in smaller ‘units,’ making effective personalised tutoring more affordable and accessible vs. traditional physical classroom learning, thereby improving the input-output ratio of education expenditure and learning outcomes.

    Example: 2U-Edx Microcredential Programs Offers Affordable Access Globally to Career-Relevant Skills

    img6Micro-bachelors and micro-masters programs are stackable online credentials that put career-relevant skills in the hands of learners in a matter of months, rather than year

  2. Mutualism

    Being complementary partners to traditional institutions. Just as ticks and oxen have a mutually beneficial relationship, traditional bricks-and-mortar institutions are partnering, rather than competing, with EdTech firms to broaden their own reach, adapt to the information age, and thereby remain relevant.

    Example: Eruditus Enables Education from 55+ Top Institutes to be Accessible Globally

    img7Partners with over 55 leading universities to offer affordable certification programs across subject matter to students globally, widening the scope and reach of these institutions.

  3. Metamorphosis

    Transition individuals to the information age allows relevance to be preserved and enhanced. While most living things change, metamorphosis is a biological process that sees a dramatic change in an animal. EdTech is starting to create the potential to access life-long learning and re-skilling for the global workforce to facilitate the transition to Information Age jobs, helping redundancy due to AI.

    Example: Articulate Works with All Fortune 100 Companies to Train Their Employees

    img8Creates and manages online training and re-training modules for companies’ entire workforces; Used by all the Fortune 100, and 122m learners.

  4. Virtualisation

    Radically improve delivery of remote education in terms of the reality of its consumption. Just as games transport players to other worlds and deliver whole new life experiences and life stories, EdTech platforms are beginning to include tools such as virtual and augmented reality, which if adopted at scale, can radically improve the quality and accessibility of remote education, and provide better learning outcomes.

    Example: Osso Virtual Reality Trains Surgeons Through Simulations

    img9Virtual reality surgical training platform that allows surgeons to practice procedures either independently or with a team before entering the operating room.

  5. Embodiment

    Makes teachers and infrastructure more effective through augmentation of their core capabilities. The field of ‘embodiment’ adds technology to change the boundaries, extensions, and permutations of human bodies to augment or transform their performance. EdTech tools improve the productivity and quality of education delivery, making teachers, administrations, and existing infrastructure more efficient by reducing time spent on administrative tasks, allowing them to have a wider audience, or allowing them to personalise for learners.

    Example: Blackbaud Digitally Transforms Traditional Institutions

    img10Drives digital transformation and impact across traditional institutes to support the entire student journey from academic concepts to engaging in extracurricular activities.

  6. Ubiquity

    Increases accessibility through device and its price-functional innovation. EdTech Firms have made available devices that are more affordable and accessible, and changed their mode to one that is far more sharable and open-source, upgradable, and durable to expand the scope and reach of online education to millions of learners, particularly in the developing world.

    Example: Byju’s Drives Better Learning Outcomes for K-12 Students Through US$70 Device

    img11Offers a US$70 tablet with comprehensive learning content to strengthen concepts taught in school, helping drive better learning outcomes.

  7. Predictiveness

    Utilises data science and AI to predict and improve student performance. Just as data sciences are being applied in retail to profile users, form a pattern of behaviour and apply it to potential future purchase preferences, EdTech is set to use artificial intelligence and data science to predict the performance for individual learners and accordingly customize their learning experience to a very specific degree.

    Example: BetterUp Enables Organizations Drive Transformation Among Employees

    img12Combines coaching with AI technology and behavioural science to deliver personalized behaviour change and improve the adaptability and effectiveness of the workforce.


The future EdTech enterprises are at once allies and competitors to traditional education establishments. They can be additive and transformative too for a traditional educational model that cannot scale fast enough to meet the needs of society.

The scale, speed, and scope of innovation in education and training, both in terms of the adoption of technology and new business models, has significantly increased in recent years, with scaled EdTech platforms across all the key parts of the education value chain, seeking to create value by addressing fundamental gaps. Some of these areas of innovation are relatively more mature now, and the coming years will see them rapidly scale. Others are still at an earlier stage of evolution and the coming years may see disruptive innovation in these segments.



For educational technology to democratise access to high-quality education and deliver essential skills for our times, it has to be based on mass inclusion, thereby avoiding exacerbating inequalities, particularly for those lacking access to technology like high-speed connectivity and devices. An estimated 340m school age children currently cannot be reached with digital remote learning technologies due to lack of connectivity, and 25% of schools lack access to basic infrastructure such as electricity, drinking water and sanitation, with the least developed countries substantially below even these levels. As a result, many schools (particularly those in disadvantaged areas) were not equipped during the pandemic to move online or keep the students and staff safexx. A radical rethink of education involves a mass transfer of education via technology from the north to the Global South, and at the same time a rethinking of the content and method of educating people the world over so critical thinking and judgement are promoted as well as skills for the Information Age and sensitivities that support a healthy society

A number of structural challenges need to be overcome if technology is to be the driver of mass inclusion and relevance. The education sector as a whole is highly regulated, has entrenched vested interests relating to significant public spending, and still remains a largely offline sector and is therefore unlike virtually every other sector in the world, despite embracing significant innovation and the best of intentions. In addition, the many stakeholders in the education system – the student, the parents, teachers, administrators, regulators, policymakers, and employers – tend to have interests which are inherently not aligned.

As the clock ticks on the UN SDGs for 2030, it is critical to find solutions that enable scaled access to high quality education in the near term while simultaneously pursuing longer-term shifts in the model if not the very purpose of education.

The manifesto for change would need to consider three simple but challenging goals:

  1. Ensuring universal and near-free access to high-speed internet connectivity as a basic human right.The pandemic has led to a situation where access to high-speed internet is a pre-requisite to access quality education and jobs. The need for access to the internet to be a basic human right has been recognised by the UN in 2016 when its member states specifically amended Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to that effectxxi.

  2. Developing cost-effective hardware solutions that place access in the hands of all, regardless of means. For EdTech to be able to reach the people that need it the most, the devices that deliver it need to be affordable, durable, upgradable, and sharable between multiple learnings, and built open-source platforms to ensure inter-operability.

  3. Allowing customising content for last-mile delivery.Companies will need to work with governments and local community bodies to customise education content for local languages and context, in order to ensure that it can reach those who need it the most.

Having solved for fundamental access and infrastructure challenges, governments, who provide the overwhelming majority of the world’s education, will need to develop digital education systems that solve for a number of practical execution challenges to ensure that the hundreds of millions of learners being educated will be active participants in the emerging Information Age. Once again, the few simple and tough requirements are:

  1. Setting the terms that allow mass private sector participation in education. Public sector funding and expertise has proven to be insufficient to closing global education gaps, and private sector investments and involvement is required, not only in EdTech, but in also brick-and-mortar educational institutions that need to augment their hard and soft infrastructure, while also improving their performance and governance standards.

  2. Ensuring quality standards in online education, while not making these a barrier to entry.Online education largely operates outside the regulatory umbrella that requires ‘traditional’ institutions to maintain certain quality standards (even if unsuccessfully). As online education becomes more ubiquitous, new regulations will be required to define and implement quality standards that do not stifle innovation, but at the same time, prevent private players from profiteering from sub-par quality education offerings.

  3. Requiring public and private collaboration in defining curriculums and developing content. While governments typically assume the responsibility of defining curriculums and creating the content for these, they are susceptible to vested interests and politicisation; and given that the private sector is already creating education content outside the formal education system, involving the private sector in defining learning objectives and curriculums has the potential to lead to more effective and relevant curriculums and content.

  4. Governments becoming ‘anchor tenants’ for the mass provision of EdTech.The vast majority of most countries’ education systems are funded and delivered by the government and/or public sector entities, which have the potential to play a pivotal role as anchor customers for EdTech firms.

  5. An en-masse transfer of solutions from the developed world to the developing.Considering the wide gap between developed and developing countries education systems and the fact that a substantial proportion of the global education gap at the base layer (primary and secondary education) is in developing Asia and Africa, a mass transfer of capabilities and technology is required to help the developing world have even a chance of meeting the challenge.


Addressing the global gaps in education that have been exacerbated by the pandemic is a critical part of meeting the SDGs, without which, any advances in meeting the goals around poverty, prosperity and human development are unsustainable. It is also critical to creating populations that are resilient to the economic, social, and political changes being wrought on the world by digital technology the emerging Information Age. Technological innovation and the development and adoption of education technologies over the last several years has now made it possible to actually close these gaps while also creating a better foundation for more meaningful dialogues and peaceful lives in a troubled and complex world.

  1. Source: Brooking,
  2. Source: World Bank,
  3. Source: : International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA): World Population and Human Capital in the Twenty-First Century, 2015 (data summarised on Our World in Data)
  4. Source: UNESCO estimate
  5. The full impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the education skill premium and the changing nature of global work will be covered in a future Sign of the Times; this piece focuses primarily on how technology (including AI) can be used to address the existing education gaps
  6. Source: OECD and UNESCO (2016) (data summarised on Our World in Data)
  7. Source: Zippia (
  8. International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA): World Population and Human Capital in the Twenty-First Century, 2015 (data summarised on Our World in Data)
  9. World Bank Development Indicators Database; the definitions of “primary”, “lower secondary” and “upper secondary” education roughly approximate to definitions of primary, middle and high school; while “tertiary” education refers to college, university or technical education; “Gross Enrollment” denotes the number of children in the relevant level of schooling divided by the total number of relevant age children, while “Net Enrollment” denotes the proportion of relevant age children that are currently enrolled (and is hence the inverse of the number of out-of-school kids at the relevant level); “Completion Rates” denote the percentage of relevant age children who have completed the specified level of schooling.
  10. ibid
  11. Source: UNESCO Global education monitoring report, 2020: Inclusion and education (
  12. Source: UNESCO Global education monitoring report, 2020: Inclusion and education (
  13. Source: UNICEF,
  14. Source: UNESCO,
  15. Source: UNESCO,
  16. Source:
  17. Source: Arizton
  18. Source: HolonIQ
  19. Source: HolonIQ
  20. Source: United Nations, Policy Brief: Education During COVID-19 and Beyond, August 2020, UNICEF
  21. Source: Brookings;