World Bank. 2018. Growing Smarter : Learning and Equitable Development in East Asia and Pacific. World Bank East Asia and Pacific Regional Report;. Washington, DC: World Bank. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/29365 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
More children are going to school, staying in school for longer, and learning than ever before in East Asia and Pacific (EAP). During the past 50 years, a group of countries in EAP have successfully transformed their economies by investing in the continuous upgrading of knowledge, skills, and abilities of their workforce. Through policy foresight, they have produced graduates with new levels of knowledge and skills almost as fast as industries increased their demand for them. Yet the success of these high performing systems has not been replicated throughout the region. Hundreds of millions of students in the region are still in school but not learning, and roughly two of three students in EAP remain in school systems struggling to escape from the global learning crisis, or whose performance is likely poor. Most students in these systems fail to reach basic levels of proficiency in key subjects, and are greatly disadvantaged because of it. This report focuses on the experiences of countries in the region that were able to expand schooling and learning and showcases countries that have managed to successfully pursue education reforms at scale. By examining these experiences, it provides both diagnoses and detailed recommendations for improvement not only for education systems within EAP but for countries across the globe. In EAP, the impressive record of success in education in some developing countries is proof-of-concept that schooling in resource-constrained contexts can lead to learning for all. This report identifies the policies and practices necessary to ensure learning and suggests how countries can raise learning outcomes through a framework of five essential domains and their associated elements.