Practice English everyday with VOA Special English

Monday, March 3, 2014 | Latest audio lessons → VOA Learning English

UNESCO Says Poor Education Costs Billions of Dollars



VOA Learning English
Recently, there have been increased efforts to make sure children in Africa get a good, strong education. But a new report says governments are losing about $129 billion dollars every year on poor quality education. As a result, about one in four students in poor countries cannot read a complete sentence. That represents about 175 million young people.

The report comes from UNESCO -- the United Nations's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It says poor teacher training and spending cuts are just two of the reasons for schools failing. Pauline Rose, an education specialist, directed the report. She says more teachers are needed in African countries south of the Sahara Desert. She says the area needs an additional 225.000 teachers a year to improve primary school education by 2015.

Pauline Rose says governments like saving money by using contract teachers. These teachers are not government employees but work by special agreement. Contract teachers can easily be dismissed. In addition, they earn far less money than teachers working for the government. The UNESCO report says governments will need to increase spending on education.

In many countries, financial support for education has decreased or stayed the same in recent years. The report praises some countries. It says South Africa provides six times more money to teach students in areas with low education levels and high unemployment. And Malawi is creating teacher colleges to train teachers for rural areas.

Sponsored links