What are the most basic life skills

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This content was published on September 27, 2017 - 5:16 pm (Keystone-SDA)

In many developing and emerging countries, millions of children cannot read or write or solve simple math problems despite several years of school attendance. The World Bank warns that it is a global "learning crisis".

Schools widened social divides instead of narrowing them, the World Bank writes in a report published in Washington on Tuesday. Students who are already disadvantaged by poverty, conflict, gender or disability reach adulthood without the most basic life skills.

The World Bank cited examples from countries around the world. Third-grade students in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda were asked to read the simple sentence "The dog's name is Fido" in English or Swahili - and failed at this task.

In rural India, three-quarters of third-grade students were unable to perform subtractions with double-digit numbers such as 46 minus 17, the report said. According to this, the grades in writing, reading and arithmetic of students in poor countries are overall 95 percent worse than in countries with stronger economic power.

The "learning crisis" is an "economic and moral crisis," said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. If there is no learning in schools, it is a "missed opportunity" and a "great injustice".

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